After years of practice and experience, these 10 endodontic tools are my must-have products for any root canal. I can’t live without them, and I hope they help you enhance your practice as well.

First, we should discuss that in any “top tools” list, the larger technologies make such a difference in successful root canals. Easily, my two top endodontic tools are my microscope and my CBCT. If you can make the investment in these two pieces of equipment, they will change your life. Not only will they help you in endo, but they will help you with all things dentistry. A microscope plus restorative dentistry equals a game changer! If you can implement this in your practice, you can easily set yourself apart from the competition.

The tools on this list can be found many places. Check with your local supplier, or even ebay to get the best price. I am not partial to, nor the spokesperson for, any one manufacturer — just know that I love these products, and they work for my practice and my patients.


1. N-Tralig Intraligamentary Syringe (Ligajet)

The key to a good root canal is getting my patient numb, REALLY NUMB. Patients don’t want pain, so in the end, numbness is how they are judging us as dentists. I want to take extra care to making sure they don’t feel a thang! When my patients tell me that they have trouble getting numb, I always respond with, “Don’t worry, I will ask my best friend to help us.”  

The ligajet is hands down one of my favorite endodontic tools. I call her my best friend because she works like a champ every time. Together, we can get anyone numb, no matter their symptoms. So even if you are just doing restorative work, you can use this tool to get the job done. I use this gadget when my patients still have pain, even after I have given them my full standard dose of anesthesia. This gives a pressure PDL injection that, if done right, allows you to treat any hot tooth. It’s a must in my tool kit.
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2. Opaldam

Another major player on the list of endodontic tools is Opaldam. Why? Because making sure your rubber dam has no leaks is super important. An open area could let saliva into your working area. Or worse, it could allow bleach to leak into the patient’s mouth or allow saliva and bacteria back into the tooth.

Life isn’t perfect, and neither is your rubber dam, which is why I suggest using Opaldam to seal those areas up before you start. I do prefer this product over Oraseal, as I find that it adheres to the rubber dam much better. It flows like a flowable composite and light cures in place (you will need to dry the area as much as possible before use).
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3. Stropko Irrigator/Air Syringe

I use this for precise air control and for its safety. It reduces the air pressure that you would get from a normal air/water syringe, allowing me to blow air in the tooth without the chance of my patient developing an air emphysema. (Yes, obviously very important!)
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4. C-Files

Let’s talk C files. Obviously, they’re very important endodontic tools, and I use them all the time. Once I get into a tooth, I negotiate the canal to working length, but usually I get stopped by some level of calcification. My C-files (or cutting files) help me bypass all that, and achieve patency.

I use the 6, 8, 10 and 15 C files so regularly that I don’t even bother to invest in the K-file any more. Both files look the same, but the C file has a “C” on the handle to differentiate it. They get me around blockages so that I can have a good glide path for my rotary files. Obtaining the appropriate working length is imperative in the success of your cases, and these files will save you from stopping short. I am not brand specific for these files, so just look for the best price.
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5. ProRinse Irrigation Needles (or Max-i-Probes)

Prorinse irrigation needles        

I don’t know about you, but sometimes irrigating can make me nervous. Maybe that is because I never want to have another hypochlorite accident. That’s right, I said “another.” (I will share that case study to come…)

Previously, I used an end-vented needle for irrigating my sodium hypochlorite, and maybe you do, too. However, even if you’re careful, you can still have a hypochlorite accident. These ProRinse (or Max-i-probes) are the best because they are small enough to get deeper into the canal, plus they are side-vented to allow for the irrigant to flow back to the orifice.  It’s a safety feature that I think is a must.

I love the 30 gauge (blue) needle, but I also use the 28 gauge (pink) when I need to differentiate between my irrigants.
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6. Calcium Hydroxide

Calcium Hydroxide Syringe for Endodontics

When a tooth is infected, or just too difficult to finish in one visit, I medicate the tooth with calcium hydroxide. This is my inter-appointment medicament of choice. Ultracal by Ultradent has been my favorite go-to calcium hydroxide paste.
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7. Visco Tip (by Vista) for Calcium Hydroxide

Vista tip for calcium hydroxide

Your calcium hydroxide will need a special tip so that you can try to get the paste as far down the canal as possible. Ultradent does make their own tips, but this one from Vista is my favorite simply for its flexible tip.
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8. ED2 Ultrasonic Tip Holders

These ED2 ultrasonic tip holders make your own ultrasonic tip, and… voila! You have an instant “endoactivator” for a fraction of the cost. My business partner suggested these because they work great, last forever and are super economical. Once you have the holders, you take the handle off of a 15 K file and insert it into the tip and use it with your piezo.  You can get a set of these on ebay for about $40 dollars.  (The sellers on these often change, so do a search on ebay for the latest results).



9. PermaFlo Purple Coronal Seal

PermaFlo Endodontic syringe

It pains me when I see a patient come back to my office months after their root canal was done and they are still sitting in their temporary filling. Nobody wants to redo a root canal, including me!

Years ago, when I first saw this happening, I started placing an orifice barrier in these cases. Initially, I did it with a tooth-colored composite, but I soon realized it would be great to be able to distinguish easily between the tooth and the material in case a retreatment is ever necessary. This also would give the dentist a reference on where to stop inside the tooth. Again, Ultradent makes a great product and it’s my favorite color… purple!
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10. Simile Opaque Composite

Simile Universal Composite

When it comes to endodontic tools, you can’t overlook the need for a good, natural-looking composite. I want my patients to have their crowns for as long as possible. I try to make the access as small as I can, but then I like to camouflage the area with a nice white opaque composite so you can’t even see where I had to make a hole in their crown. It took me some trial and error to find this one, but it tends to match most porcelain shades.
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Hopefully, you’ve found this list of my preferred tools helpful.