The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of 2 electronic apex locators (EALs), Apex ID (SybronEndo, Glendora, CA) and Root ZX (J. Morita, Tokyo, Japan), by means of micro-computed tomographic (micro-CT) imaging and to determine anatomic variations that may affect their accuracy.
The root canal length (RCL) and working length (WL) of 33 single-rooted premolars were measured using a visual method, 3-dimensional micro-CT reconstructions, and 2 different EALs. Two different measurements were recorded for each EAL: at the "APEX/0.0" mark and at the "0.5" mark. The WL was determined using 2 different methods: method 1: at the "0.5 mark" of the apex locator and method 2: subtracting 0.5 mm from the "APEX/0.0" mark. The precision of measurements was compared with those recorded by micro-CT imaging. Apical foramen (AF) position and diameter, apical constriction (AC) diameter, distance between the AC and the AF, and the presence/absence of accessory canals were recorded from the micro-CT scans, and their correlation to the accuracy of EALs was determined.
There was no statistically significant difference in the RCL measurements by any of the different methods. There was a statistically significant difference in the WL recorded by micro-CT imaging compared with those by the visual method and at the "APEX/0.0 mark" - 0.5 mm (P = .031). There was no difference in the measurements acquired by any of the EALs. The "APEX/0.0 mark" - 0.5 mm was less accurate than the "0.5" mark. However, the results were not statistically significant (P > .05). The position of the AF and the AC-AF distance affected the accuracy of the RCL (P = .003) and the "0.5" mark (P = .013).
Root ZX and Apex ID are equally precise in determining the RCL and WL. The "0.5" mark can be used to determine the WL with high precision. Some anatomic variations may influence the accuracy of EALs.
Published by Elsevier Inc.