The manufacture of the ﬁrst instruments for en-dodontic use dates to 1875. These early instruments, which were made by hand from thin steel wires, per-formed more or less the function of modern barbedbroaches.In accordance with the lack of sophistication of the time, more importance was given to obturation of the canal space than to cleaning of the root canal sy-stem.
With the advent of dental radiology, local anesthe-sia, and advances in bacteriology at the turn of the lastcentury, a new era opened in endodontic therapy.In 1932, G. V. Skillen
stated that it was necessary to curette the canal walls to remove the pulp debris.He believed that all residual tissue became degenera-tive and would lead to failure of canal therapy.Skillen and his contemporaries were occupied inestablishing standards for the methods of root canalcleaning, which at the time were not standardized.Grove
designed “standardized instruments andgold cones”. His intent was to prepare the radicularcanal space according to precise norms of shape, si-ze, and conicity. Jasper
developed silver cones corresponding tothe sizes of the ﬁles that were in use at that time.In 1955, Ingle
was the ﬁrst to express ﬁnally theneed for standardization of canal instruments, whichhe advocated again in 1958 at the Second InternationalConference of Endodontics
in Philadelphia.In 1961, Ingle
established a basic, standardizedshape for endodontic instruments and a standardi-zed endodontic technique using newly-designedobturation instruments and materials. He substitu-ted stainless steel for carbon steel and introduced co-lor-coded instruments that were smaller (06 and 08)and larger (110-150) than those in use at the time.In 1965, the American Association of Endodontistsadopted the terminology and nomenclature of theproposed standardized system,
and in June 1976the Council on Dental Materials and Devices
of the American Dental Association approved the speciﬁca-tion # 28, which established the classiﬁcation norms,requisite physical properties, and procedures for inve-stigation, sampling tests, and preparation for the distri-bution of root canal ﬁles and reamers.
The system of standardization and agreementsamong the various manufacturers to observe them istherefore a fairly recent development.
STANDARDIZATION OFENDODONTIC INSTRUMENTS
Before the standardization proposed by Ingle andthe agreements among the various manufacturers,each company produced its own instruments withoutadhering to any pre-established criteria. The numbe-ring of instruments from 1 to 6 was purely arbitrary,there was no uniformity governing the progressionfrom one size to the next, and the instruments of onemanufacturer rarely matched similar instruments of another maker (Tab. I).The standardized norms provided a numbering sy-stem that indicated to hundredths of a millimeter thediameter of the tip of the instrument at the ﬁrst rakeangle. This diameter is termed “D
”. The diameter atthe end of the cutting edge is termed “D
”. In all in-struments, the difference of the diameters D
is always a constant 0.32 mm. This confers a consi-stent taper to instruments of whatever size (taper .02:the increment in diameter is 0.02 mm x each millime-ter of length).