Introduction: The aim of this study was to compare the influence of preflaring on the accuracy of 4 electronic apex locators (EALs): Root ZX, Elements Diagnostic Unit and Apex Locator, Mini Apex Locator, and Apex DSP. Methods: Forty extracted teeth were preflared by using S1 and SX ProTaper instruments. The working length was established by reducing 1mm from the total length (TL). The ability of the EALs to detect precise (-1mm from TL) and acceptable (-1±0.5mm from TL) measurements in unflared and preflared canals was determined. Results: The precise and acceptable (P/A) readings in unflared canals for Root ZX, Elements Diagnostic Unit and Apex Locator, Mini Apex, and Apex DSP were 50%/97.5%, 47.5%/95%, 50%/97.5%, and 45%/ 67.5%, respectively. For preflared canals, the readings were 75%/97.5%, 55%/95%, 75%/97.5%, and 60%/87.5%, respectively. For precise criteria, the preflared procedure increased the percentage of accurate electronic readings for the Root ZX and the Mini Apex Locator (P < .05). For acceptable criteria, no differences were found among Root ZX, Elements Diagnostic Unit and Apex Locator, and Mini Apex Locator (P > .05). Fisher test indicated the lower accuracy for Apex DSP (P < .05). Conclusions: The Root ZX and the Mini Apex Locator devices increased significantly the precision to determine the real working length after the preflaring procedure. All the EALs showed an acceptable determination of the working length between the ranges of±0.5mm except for the Apex DSP device, which had the lowest accuracy.
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- Electronic apex locator
- Root ZX
- working length