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Restor Dent Endod. 2015 May;40(2):113-22. doi: 10.5395/rde.2015.40.2.113. Epub 2014 Dec 26.

Evaluation of electrical impedance ratio measurements in accuracy of electronic apex locators.

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Biomedical Knowledge Engineering Laboratory, Seoul National University School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Conservative Dentistry, Seoul National University School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.



The aim of this paper was evaluating the ratios of electrical impedance measurements reported in previous studies through a correlation analysis in order to explicit it as the contributing factor to the accuracy of electronic apex locator (EAL).


The literature regarding electrical property measurements of EALs was screened using Medline and Embase. All data acquired were plotted to identify correlations between impedance and log-scaled frequency. The accuracy of the impedance ratio method used to detect the apical constriction (APC) in most EALs was evaluated using linear ramp function fitting. Changes of impedance ratios for various frequencies were evaluated for a variety of file positions.


Among the ten papers selected in the search process, the first-order equations between log-scaled frequency and impedance were in the negative direction. When the model for the ratios was assumed to be a linear ramp function, the ratio values decreased if the file went deeper and the average ratio values of the left and right horizontal zones were significantly different in 8 out of 9 studies. The APC was located within the interval of linear relation between the left and right horizontal zones of the linear ramp model.


Using the ratio method, the APC was located within a linear interval. Therefore, using the impedance ratio between electrical impedance measurements at different frequencies was a robust method for detection of the APC.


Canal length; Electrical impedance; Electronic apex locator; Endodontics; Impedance ratio

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