What is a Lentulo Spiral?
A Lentulo spiral is a fine filling instrument used to distribute (rotate in) root canal sealer throughout the depth of the root canal system during a root canal treatment.
When a dental nerve dies off during the cutting of a tooth for a crown due to chemicals and/or a deep caries and/or overheating of the tooth, for example, then the dental nerve must be removed. This is done during a root canal treatment. First, the tooth is drilled open; then the canals are prepared in a conical fashion with the root canal instruments while the root canal is rinsed intermittently.
There will be more on root canal rinsing and solutions in the video titled "Sodium Hypochlorite". By rinsing with a special solution (as a rule, the dentist uses sodium hypochloride), chips of dentin and cell debris are removed from the canals. The goal is to obtain dry and clean root canals — a prerequisite for filling canals.
Oftentimes, patients ignore the toothache caused by the dying of the nerve tissue. In most cases, the pain does indeed subside after 2-3 days. However, the pain will flare up again after days/weeks/months/years. Often, such a tooth cannot be treated with a root canal right away; imagine leaving meat sitting in the kitchen for a year. Thus, the dentist must first get the canal clean and dry. As a rule, he rotates a particular medication into the canal by using the lentulo and then attempts to perform the root canal treatment again approximately one week later.
Here you see a tooth that is protected against saliva and the tongue by a cofferdam. The root canal has already been prepared but couldn’t be dried; this is a sign that the infection at the root end is still active. There will be more on that in the video called "Pulpitis". Now the doctor uses a lentulo to rotate the medication in and closes the tooth. A week later, the process – i.e., rinsing and drying – is repeated. If the canal is clean at that point, it is sealed with a special paste.
This procedure is referred to as the actual root canal treatment; more on that in the video titled "Root Canal Treatment". It is important that the instruments used (i.e., the lentulo as well) are sterile, because you don’t want to rotate bacteria into the canal.
Here you see how a root canal box contacting the clean instruments is taken out of the sterilizer and unpacked. Unfortunately, the instruments are very strained by the sterilizing procedure, which is why they should be exchanged every few procedures. Old instruments can break more easily.
Here on the X-ray, you can see a broken lentulo that prevented treating the canal; an inflammation developed in the bone at the end of the root, as identified by the dark spot. In order to prevent such complications, the root canal treatment and the handling of the corresponding instruments associated with it require exact hygiene protocol to be followed. There will be more on that in the video called "Röko Box".