INTRODUCTION : The risk of cross-contamination validates
the need to assess how adequately dental instruments
can be cleaned and sterilised.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES : This study aimed to evaluate
residual debris contamination of endodontic hand
files collected from private practice following routine
DESIGN : A cross-sectional observational study was
METHODS : Clinically used and reprocessed endodontic
hand files were collected from 27 dental practices.
Information regarding the routine decontamination
procedures of each practice was also submitted. The
endodontic files were assessed by two previously
calibrated examiners using a stereomicroscope and were
scored for the presence or absence of remnant debris
using a modified scoring system. Statistical evaluation
of the data estimated the frequency and proportions of
debris in each scoring position. Cohen’s Kappa statistic
assessed inter-examiner agreement and groups were
compared using Fisher’s Exact test.
RESULTS : In total, 401 endodontic hand files were examined. Debris was found on 94% of files. Interexaminer
agreement was fair to moderate over the entire
dataset. Group B was found to contain significantly less
debris than the other groups
CONCLUSION : Routine decontamination methods used in
general dental practice do not effectively remove debris
from endodontic hand files.