The effect of autoclave sterilization on endodontic files.
This study evaluates the effect of cyclic autoclave sterilization and simulated clinical usage on a mechanical property of one brand of stainless steel endodontic files. The angular deflection moments were measured by a torque apparatus approved by the American Dental Association for such purposes. Comparisons of values for sterilized and nonsterilized files were made. 1. A significant decrease in angular deflection values exists for stainless steel endodontic files having undergone ten cycles of autoclave sterilization versus files having undergone only two or five similar cyclings. 2. All file sizes (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40) tested in torsion were detrimentally affected by the autoclave sterilization. 3. Of the files investigated, sizes 35 and 40 were the most adversely affected by the steam-under-pressure sterilization. 4. The angular deflection values of those files subjected to repeated autoclavings were not decreased below the minimum value accepted by the American Dental Association for resistance to torquing forces. It can therefore be concluded that repeated sterilization of a stainless steel endodontic file does result in a significant reduction in the torque resistance of that file. This reduction of the metal property is not significant clinically, however.
Mitchell, BF; James, GA; Nelson, RC
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