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Dental Education Laboratories is a ADA CERP and AGD recognized provider of continuing education (CE) courses on-line and in person. 
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Dental Education Laboratories is a ADA CERP and AGD recognized provider of continuing education (CE) courses on-line and in person. 
Dental Education Laboratories is a ADA CERP and AGD recognized provider of continuing education (CE) courses on-line and in person. 

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Current buchanan.5x7Meet Dr. L. Stephen Buchanan.

Dr. L. Stephen Buchanan, was valedictorian of his class at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, completed the Endodontic Graduate program at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1980. Dr. Buchanan began pursuing 3-D anatomy research early in his career, and in 1986 he became the first person in dentistry to use micro CT technology to show the intricacies of root structure. In 1989 he established Dental Education Laboratories, and subsequently built a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory devoted to hands-on endodontic instruction, where he continues to teach today.
Through Dental Education Laboratories he has lectured and conducted participation courses around the world, published numerous articles, and produced an award-winning video series, The Art of Endodontics. In addition to his activities as an educator and practicing clinician, Dr. Buchanan holds a number of patents for dental instruments and techniques. Most notably, he was the first to introduce variably-tapered shaping instruments for use in endodontic therapy and pioneered a system-based approach to treating root canals.
Exclusive expert hands-on workshop training, using TrueTooth™ and TrueJaw 3D™


Clinical FAQ

Have more questions? Please visit our full clinical FAQ page.

The Vortex Blue File 15/.06 is the first file. Wouldn't I use a #8 or 10 to get a length with apex locator first?

A: You can use the Vortex Blue File15-.06 many ways. You can use it as an orifice widener only until you negotiate to length with an .08 and .10 K-File. You can use it to the apical third, negotiate by hand, and then bring the Vortex Blue File back and cut it to length. Or, like I do, you can let it cut where it will-most often to length-and bring in hand files for negotiation when it won’t because of tight curved canals or impediments.

The finishing file is 30/.06 for most molars. Do you ever use .04 tapers?

20-.06 is the size I finish 1/3rd of my small molar canals to, 30-.06 is the size I finish small molar canals 2/3rds of the time (40-.06 in one out of 20 small molar canals). When the terminus is tiny, holding to a 30-.06 shaping objective will increase your chances of breaking a file or transporting the canal terminus. Large molar canals-Palatal in upper molars and distal in lowers-are finished in my hands w a 30-.08 or 40-.08.

I only use .04 tapers when I am having trouble getting an .06 taper to length, never for final shape. Finishing with this small taper requires cutting the end to larger diameters to adequately clean canals-a move that significantly increases chances of apical transportation. The only well thought out rationale for finishing with an .04 taper is to limit coronal enlargement-with conventional files having 16mm of flute length-when the root is long and the terminal diameter is large. If you use finishing files with Maximum Flute Diameter limitations-like GT and GTX Files-you can cut any size taper you want without fear of needlessly weakening coronal root structure.

If you were setting up to provide endodontic therapies, what size rotary files would you purchase?

For finishing files, all the GTX sizes, but in different proportions. Lots of 20-.06, 30-.06, 30-.08, 40-.08 and just a few of the other sizes. For initial negotiation/initial shape a lot of Vortex Blue File 15-.06’s as they do most of the work cutting dentin.

What are your techniques with Gow Gates injections, especially landmarks for initiation of the injection?

Simply place a long 27 gage needle in the groove of the distal marginal ridge of the upper second molar, head straight back, and you are perfectly positioned for entry. Penetrate the soft tissue 1/8-1/4″ straight in, depositing solution as you go, then move the syringe cross arch and drop it to the mandibular occlusal extent, and slowly move the needle tip toward the medial surface of the ramus (slowly injecting as you go) with the intention of touching it carefully midway between its mesial and distal extents (example: this is easily determined by placing the left side your thumb on the mesial of the ramus intra-orally and your index finger on the distal extent extra-orally). Be sure to aspirate for blood, as this injection technique places the needle near vascular structures-which is good because nerves travel with vessels. This mandibular block method works 95% of the time as opposed to the conventional block technique which works 70%-80% of the time.

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