Manual procedures, even in combination with an ultrasonic bath, should only be used in cases where mechanical methods are not available, as they are considerably less efficient and their results are not as consistent. Irrespective of whether a mechanical or manual procedure is carried out, all instruments need to be pre-cleaned.7
Let’s take a closer look at the (most commonly applied) cleaning and re-processing procedure for endodontic instruments in dental practices. Reprocessing of a contaminated, potentially infectious endodontic instrument should ideally be carried out as shown in the grey box. During manual cleaning, remnants are manually removed by means of small, soft wire brushes. This harbours potential risks such as injuries resulting in an entire chain of compulsory procedures (see needle-stick injuries9).
In the case of NiTi instruments, plastic brushes are recommended to avoid unnecessary roughening of the instrument’s surface.