Comparison of Conventional and New-generation Nickel-Titanium Files in Regard to Their Physical Properties

Masaki Tsujimoto, DDS, PhD, Yuu Irifune, DDS, Yasuhisa Tsujimoto, DDS, PhD, Shizuka Yamada, DDS, PhD, Ikuya Watanabe, DDS, PhD, Yoshihiko Hayashi, DDS, PhD

Almost all of the major endodontic file manufacturers have been touting the significant improvements made to their instruments with the introduction of new generation nickel titanium. In a paper published in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of EndodonticsTsujimoto et al reported on their research that tested the hypothesis “that the new-generation NiTi files materials would be superior in cyclic fatigue resistance compared with conventional materials.”

Contrary to their hypothesis, and based on their extensive testing, they concluded “that new-generation NiTi files are not necessarily improved compared with conventional files.”

The published abstract appears below:



This study investigated the surface, fractured structure, and physicochemical properties related to cyclic fatigue in various nickel-titanium (NiTi) files.


Among a total of 10 groups of NiTi files, conventional NiTi files (ProFile [Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland] and K3 [SybronEndo, Orange, CA]) and new-generation NiTi files (ProFile Vortex [PV; Tulsa Dental Specialties, Tulsa, OK], Vortex Blue [VB; Tulsa Dental Specialties], and K3 XF [XF; SybronEndo, Orange, CA]) with the same tip diameter (ISO size 25) and 2 types of taper (0.04 and 0.06) were used in this study. Scanning electron microscopy of the file surface structure, differential scanning calorimetry, and cyclic fatigue resistance tests were conducted.


Many mechanical grooves were recognized on the file surface. The surface in the ProFile group was extremely smooth compared with that observed for the other files. Many shallow hollows besides mechanical grooves were noted on the surface in the XF group. A smooth curve was observed in the ProFile, K3, and PV groups. Defined peaks in differential scanning calorimetry were observed in the VB and XF groups. The 0.04 taper files exhibited a statistically higher number of cycles to fracture than the 0.06 taper files in all groups (P < .05). Cracks along the mechanical grooves were observed in the NiTi files, with the exception of the XF group. The start of cracking was detected at U-shape sites in the ProFile group, the cutting edge in the PV and VB groups, and radial islands in the K3 and XF groups.


The present findings suggest that new-generation NiTi files are not necessarily improved compared with conventional files.

Dr. Barry H. Korzen

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