• endodontic files;
  • root canal instrumentation;
  • curved root canals

Abstract In this study, the effect of using four endodontic files from different manufacturers on the final shape of 80 prepared curved root canals of extracted single-rooted teeth were comparatively analyzed with scanning electron microscopy. The instruments tested were Tri-files, Flex-R files, Flexofiles and conventional K-type files. All files were used with in and out linear movements with a circumferential motion starting with a size 15 file. Final preparation of the apical thirds was performed with a size 30 file. Shaping effectiveness of the tested files was qualitatively evaluated in terms of respect for conservation of the apical constriction and the presence or absence of ledging, specially in the apical third of the root canals. A well-centered and tapered preparation without apical transportation or ledging was detected when Tri-file or Flex-R files were used. Conversely, the use of Flexofile or conventional K-type files resulted in frequent alteration of the initial pattern of the root canals, showing an hourglass preparation with alteration of the apical constriction and ledge formations.