The aim of this study was to compare in vivo the accuracy of two electronic foramen locators (EFLs) based on different operation systems - Root ZX and Propex II. Ten healthy adult patients needing premolar extractions due to orthodontic reasons participated in the study, providing a sample of 17 noncarious, non-restored, vital teeth (n= 24 canals). After coronal access preparation and cervical preflaring and prior to tooth extraction, the root canal length was measured alternating the two EFLs. All measurements were performed with K-files well fitted to the canal diameter at the level that each EFL indicated the apical foramen in their display (APEX or 0.0). The last K-file were fixed in place with cyanoacrylate, the tooth was extracted, and the apical 4 mm of each root were resected to measure the distance between the file tip and the apical foramen. The mean errors based on the absolute values of discrepancies were 0.30 ± 0.29 mm (Root ZX) and 0.32 ± 0.27 mm (Propex II). Analysis by the Wilcoxon test for paired samples showed no statistically significant differences between the electronic canal measurements performed with the EFLs (p=0.587). The apical foramen was accurately located in 75% (Root ZX) and 66.7% (Propex II) of the cases, considering a ±0.5 mm error margin, with no statistically significant difference by the chi-square test. Despite having different measurement mechanisms, both EFLs were capable of locating the apical foramen with high accuracy in vivo. Under the tested clinical conditions, Root ZX and Propex II displayed similar results.
electronic apex locator; root canal length determination; apical foramen; Root ZX; Propex II