DENTSPLY MAILLEFER Press Conference: One File is Enough



After the International Dental Show 2011 endodontics is no longer what it used to be

Cologne, Germany/Ballaigues, Switzerland May 4th, 2011 — One single file per root canal preparation – that sounds like a new era in endodontics. How this will turn out in daily practice was explained at the DENTSPLY MAILLEFER press conference during the International Dental Show on March 25th, 2011 given by the CEO of the company Pierre-Luc Maillefer, marketing manager Didier Lakomsky and Dr. Uwe Radmacher, an endodontist from Lampertheim, Germany. The event was entitled: „New pathways for endodontic treatment and for improving success rates“.

Pierre-Luc Maillefer opened the event with a brief historical overview of the roots of the company, which has been part of the DENTSPLY group of companies for more than 15 years. It was founded back in 1889 by his ancestor Auguste Maillefer. Originally a master watchmaker, a typical trade for the Jura region of Switzerland, at the age of 40 he decided on a second career and became a dentist. Since then his company, based in Ballaigues, Switzerland, combines the meticulousness of the traditional precision engineering workshops with dental innovation.

The manufacture of nerve broaches began during the 19th century, followed by endodontic files after 1910. Pierre-Luc Maillefer emphasized further landmarks including ISO standardisation of the instruments during the sixties and the introduction of rotary nickel-titanium (NiTi) instruments in the first half of the nineties. In conjunction with the Thermafil procedure which, once sealer has been applied, involves the use of a biocompatible plastic obturator coated with gutta-percha for filling open root canals, a complete system for endodontic treatment was created. Ten years later the outstanding vigour of innovation of DENTSPLY MAILLEFER came to light with new instruments which, for the first time, feature a variable taper along the file (ProTaper and ProTaper Universal).

„It is important to me that even today, just like one hundred years ago, our entire research and manufacturing abilities are concentrated at one location“, underlined Pierre-Luc Maillefer. „In Ballaigues one centre of expertise and one team perform everything at one location – from the ideation phase to clinical use. Nowadays 800000 of our instruments are used each day. Being the market leader we are represented in over 100 countries and train a total of 12000 dentists per year in those regions.“

The 2011 IDS was the seventeenth time that Pierre-Luc Maillefer had attended this event. His experience has shown that this exhibition provides the best environment for launching a pioneering product. This time the company presented the new WaveOne NiTi file system.

Endodontics meets simplicity
„The significance of this procedure can be summarized with the motto of the three musketeers: One for all!“ explained Didier Lakomsky. „Whereas to date the dentist had to use several instruments in a certain order to prepare a root canal, a single one is now sufficient. Our pilot users are pleased about the short shaping time, good control over shaping and impressive respect of root canal anatomy as well as the short learning curve. Studies carried out in Florida, USA showed that WaveOne files adapt to the anatomy of the root canal automatically. Like this, any dental practitioner can achieve good shaping results.

The innovative system significantly simplifies endodontics: it operates using reciprocating motion. This allows the root canal to be prepared using only one file and reduces the risk of the screwing-in effect and file fracture. The innovative NiTi files are pre-sterilised and individually blister packed. Their single-use technique ensures increased safety, as this provides maximum fracture-resistance and protection against cross-contamination.

The innovative WaveOne system was designed by DENTSPLY MAILLEFER in collaboration with the world’s leading endodontists and results in easy, safe and efficient root canal preparation. Treatment can now be completed using only one file. The instruments are made from highly loadable M-Wire nickel-titanium – a special development from DENTSPLY. The file geometry in combination with the reciprocating motors ensures time-saving treatment of the highest quality: the technique is based on alternating, extended forward rotation in the cutting direction and shorter rotation in the opposite direction, which allows the files to slide into the root canal while retaining its anatomy. The optimised rotation angle reduces the risk of the screwing-in effect and file fracture.

The reciprocal technique is easy to learn and leads to a significant saving in time during endodontic treatment: in comparison with root canal preparation using continuous rotary instruments, the WaveOne files shorten the total preparation time by up to 40 percent. As only one file is required, laborious instrument changes are no longer needed. Single use of the files protects the patient against cross-contamination; and rules out the necessity to prepare the files.

In addition to the reciprocal mode, the pre-programmed WaveOne motor also provides continuous movement for using other proven handpiece file systems from DENTSPLY MAILLEFER, e.g. ProTaper Universal. A further 15 freely programmable memory locations allow the operator scope for individual settings. Colour-coded paper and gutta-percha points as well as obturators complete the WaveOne system. A recommendation for all dentists who would like to improve their endodontic treatments is therefore to follow the motto “Simplicity is the real innovation”.

A new era in dental practice
How the new system can be evaluated from the point of view of general dental practitioners was explained by Dr. Uwe Radmacher: „This is the beginning of a new era. Three sizes of file are available and the medium version alone is suitable for the complete preparation of approx. 80 percent of all root canals. Even students only need fifteen minutes to learn this new technique.“

When considering the saving in time it must be taken into account that root canal preparation, in addition to rinsing and obturation, is only part of the entire endodontic treatment – about one fifth. But when using WaveOne this 20 percent can really be curtailed by about 80 percent. And there’s an increase in safety: Fear of a file fracturing now really is a thing of the past. Each WaveOne is only used once, and the reciprocating motion even reduces the stress on the material.

Dr. Radmacher’s experience has shown that “some competitors’ motor-driven files are drawn right into the root canal“. „When using WaveOne, I, the dentist, maintain control and it is impossible to interchange the files inadvertently. All in all, this increases my success rate. As these are single-use instruments they do not require preparation and the risk of chaos in the steriliser is ruled out.“

„The reciprocating motion provides for tactile feedback similar to when preparing by hand“, commented Pierre-Luc Maillefer. „Therefore WaveOne combines the advantages of power-driven and manual procedures.“

The numerous questions asked by the dental journalists were an indication that this topic „New pathways for endodontic treatment and for improving success rates“ captured the spirit of the times. Anyone who is interested in further information is welcome to visit: