ProTaper Universal - Whatever You Thought, Think Again
In 1995, the opportunity was present to develop an improved set of NiTi files. The goal was to create a simple set of easy-to-use files that would significantly improve the benchmark for safety and efficiency. In collaboration with the engineers from Maillefer, Drs. Pierre Machtou, John West and I agreed to develop a set of files that would precisely duplicate the Schilder shaping concept. We envisioned three Shaping and three Finishing files with unique geometries. Each Shaping file would have increasing percentage tapers over the length of its cutting blades. Each Finishing file would have a fixed taper in its apical extent, then importantly, decreasing percentage tapers over the coronal twothirds length of its blades. This was an innovative idea at that time and required Maillefer to build new machines to manufacture progressively tapered files. The early instruments were initially called Variable Taper (VT) and were thoroughly tested over the next 5 years. In 2001, the VT file concept was commercially launched as ProTaper, as this name better represented the progressively tapered file design.