Apex Locator: Consistently Accurate Readings?

Apex LocatorI just bought the Apex NRG and have had pretty good success establishing an accurate working length. I have previously used the Justwo and the Root ZX. I had middling success with both of those. I do so much endo that it is worth my while to have reliable a apex locator.

Has anybody used an electronic apex locator that provided consistently accurate readings? In wet canals with sodium hypochlorite or blood? I would like to be able to insert the file to estimated working length and take a reading at the beginning of the procedure, before the pulpectomy has been completed. Are any of you able to do that? I would be willing to purchase another apex locator if it worked any better than these. It would be worth it to me.

19 thoughts on “Apex Locator: Consistently Accurate Readings?

  1. I was wondering why you want to be so specific with your working length so early in your endo? All of the continuing ed courses I have done advocate the ‘crown down’ technique which focus on gross removal of the infected upper 2/3 region of the canal so that transfer of bacteria apically is reduced (all done before the working length PA or apex locator check). The other thing about taking a working length before you have opened up your canals is that translocation of your apical seat beyond the constriction will ensue as the curvature of the canal system (and therefore actual working length) is reduced with filing.I use the sybron endo locator which is pretty good but will occasional decide not to play – particularly with pussy/necrotic cases. With such cases, I go back to just files and radiographs and then at the next appointment 2-3 later, generally find that an accurate apex locator reading can then be obtained.

    Hope all the above is useful
    regards John

  2. I have been using propex from Dentsply.I am getting good accurate results with it.
    What i do is when i am negotiating the canal and checking the patency of it,i take the lengthwith apex locater.In some cases when the no. 10 file is not going till the apex,i do the crown down,then the apex locater

  3. I get good results with apex NRG and the one of sybron endo. Most times I find the same results. if I cannot obtain an accurate reading I know I am in trouble: ledging, perforation, sclerotic stops. So I still use X-ray and electronic readings. in this way I have also visual information and I don’t have to make to much x-ray photo’s. that’s nice for the patient.

  4. I have generally been satisfied w/ the RootZX. But, here’s my question… What do we trust? I was indoctrinated to get a film showing the file at the tip of the apex. It makes for a great, satisfying picture, but is it long in reality? Do we trust the apex locator as being more anatomically correct? I’m interested in reading the thoughts of others on this.

  5. My second apex locator is APIT, works in wet canal, but it is better to recheck the length again when the canal is dry, then compare them if there is any discrepancy in readings.

  6. I use the Root ZX with great success. However, I have learned over the years when to trust it. Generally, as long as the chamber is dry, the canals can still have fluid in them and give a good reading. Some tips are as follows: try using a larger file, make sure that the file does not touch restorations or caries, shape the upper 1/3 of the canal, remove all pulp stones first, and insulate the shaft of the file with tubing striped from electrical wire.
    p.s. if you get the file exactly to the tip of the root on the x-ray (the radiographic apex as opposed to the anatomical apex), you will be overextended most of the time. hope this helps.

  7. As I recall, very few canals exit the apex. I would also expect results to vary when you have lateral canals. You’ll probably not see them until they’re filled with sealer…

  8. When carrying out root canal treatment through a porcelain bonded crown, especially upper central incisors i almost alwyas find myself having to take a working length radiograph as my apex locator ( Ray-pex 5) gives innaccurate readings due to contact of the file with the sides of the access cavity which is metal.

    Does anyone have any hints or tips??

  9. Check your “chord” which carries the electrode terminals. Often they are faulty. Also the clips can develop problems. In some makes Even the power batterries are at fault. Apex locators work. You have to understand how they work.

  10. I do have a suggestion that you may want to consider. Don’t use the words “I do so much endo”. I realize it is a medical term but its also an alternate term used for weed.

  11. i used osada endex for years. tho, it lied to me from time to time i knew when it wasnt accurate. i ve since switched to root zx. its lies too…but i dont know when its lying. help!!!!!

  12. always rely on good quality radiograph use digital imaging system which is risk free these all apex locaters are use less

  13. “dr mumtaz ul islam May 20th, 2009

    always rely on good quality radiograph use digital imaging system which is risk free these all apex locaters are use less”

    Maybe a course on the effects of ionising radiation is in order to help you understand the risks of radiography.

    Apex locators are an adjunct, as are radiographs of good diagnostic quality.

    They are tools which help assess the location of the apical foramen and they should be seen as an aid alone.

    Good technique using master files/GP with radiographs and an apex locator will ensure good endo success.

  14. I am fan of EMF (e-Magic Finder) Apex Locator since last 6 years. Now I have bought their 2nd version i-Root with the software.
    The results are the most accurate. As a consulting Endodontist I keep moving to various clinics and so I have used most of the other brands also.

    But for me nothing like e-Magic Finder & now i-Root.

  15. i have bought root zx recently i am confused with it as most of time it gives wrong reading tell me how i can get best from it

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