Passive step–back technique

By Torabinejad M

Date: 01/1994
Journal: OOO


  • Aim: using combination of hand and rotary instruments to clean and shape root canals and reduce apical canal transportation.
  • Instruments:
    No. 10 to 40 K files, (size 2-3) Gates Glidden and peso reamers



  • Straight line-access (flare the wall).
  • establish the WL with size #15 and instrument the canal with same size in 1/8-1/4 turn and push-pull strokes to establish apical patency.
  • Instrument the canal from #20-40. (each as far as it goes passively).
  • Insert size #2 G.G without activation to a point where it binds, pull it back 1-1.5 mm then activate the G.G (#4 Gates-Glidden and reamer can be used in large canals)
  • Confirm the WL before canal preparation.
  • Flare the coronal 2-3 mm further with G.G or PR.
  • Apical preparation with sequentially larger files from the working length. In curved canals it should be limited to #25-#30.

Clinical Significance:

The passive step-back technique provides a gradual enlargement of root canals and reduces procedural accidents.