Introduction: The present in vitro study aimed to evaluate and compare the changes in shape and surface area of the major foramen following shaping of curved canals with three new generation NiTi engine-driven instruments naming ProTaper Next, BT RaCe and WaveOne Gold- with 3 different levels of protrusion beyond the major apical foramen. Methods and Materials: A total of 45 extracted human molars with at least one curved canal were distributed in 3 comparable groups of 15 that were instrumented using either ProTaper Next (PTN), BT RaCe (BTR) or WaveOne Gold (WOG). The canals were instrumented to the major foramen and then over instrumented with the final file 0.5 mm, 1 mm and 1.5 mm beyond the foramen. Standardized pre- and post-instrumentation photographs of the foramen were obtained for all groups using a stereomicroscope. Foramen shape and surface area were evaluated using the AmScope software for measurements and compared between groups and levels of instrumentation applying binary conditional logistic regression and repeated measures ANOVA. The level of significance was set at 0.05. Results: Foramen shape tended to gradually change from circular to oval as the level of instrumentation increased in all groups. The original foramen shape in WOG group remained better than other groups. Foramen surface areas increased in all groups with Group BTR demonstrating significantly greater values than the other 2 groups. Conclusion: Over instrumentation resulted in apical enlargement and ovalization in all 3 groups but with different patterns. These differences can be attributed to the final file size, design characteristics and kinematics of the 3 systems.
Keywords: Apical Foramen; Curved Canals; Foramen Area; Foramen Shape; Nickel Titanium Rotary Instruments; Over Instrumentation