I got a very nice email from a new dentist in India over the Christmas & New Year break. The dentist had heard me mention Gates Glidden drills in a previous blog and wanted some more information. I started writing an article on Gates Glidden's but had some vague recollection of one I had read some where else. A quick search through The Endo Blog revealed that Dr. Jason Hales had already written one and much more adroitly than I ever could. Here is the article.
Gates Glidden drills are my instrument of choice for opening orifices and shaping the coronal third of the canal. Most studies show that in 90+% of canals, the apex is already a size 15 or 20 before instrumentation begins. If this is true, why cant we slip a 10 K-File to length without fail? The answer is because the canal constricts in the coronal third and keeps us from being able to get to length. This means that the the preparation of the coronal part of the canal is vitally important to the success of the root canal therapy.
While it is not uncommon for me to separate a Gates Glidden drill during endodontic thearpy, I can easily retrieve them with just a cotton forceps as they always break high on the instrument. The opposite is true of most crown-down rotary systems. Read over the article at The Endo Blog. It will give you a new appreciation for Gates Glidden drills!