Cone-beam Computed Tomographic Study of Root Anatomy and Canal Configuration of Molars in a Spanish Population

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The aim of this study was to identify morphologic peculiarities of roots and analyze the root canal configuration in maxillary and mandibular first and second molars by means using cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging in a Spanish population.


A total of 284 maxillary molars and 242 mandibular molars from 112 patients were examined in vivo by CBCT imaging; only untreated molars with healthy and fully matured apices were included in this study. Details regarding the number of roots, number of canals, and root canal configuration were recorded.


Maxillary first and second molars had 3 roots in 97.2% and 79%, respectively. In mandibular molars, the frequency of 2 roots was 94% in first molars and 83% in second molars. The canal configuration of the palatal root was 100% Vertucci type I (1-1) in first and second molars. The distobuccal root showed a Vertucci type I configuration in 97% of first and 100% of maxillary second molars. The mesiobuccal root for first molars showed a Vertucci type II configuration (2-1) in 56.5% cases and Vertucci type IV (2-2) in 23.2%. For maxillary second molars, the Vertucci type I configuration reached 52.7%. In mandibular molars, the mesial root showed higher variability. Most frequent was the presence of 2 canals, Vertucci type II for first and second molars. In the distal root, the most common configuration was Vertucci type I in both molars.


The greater percentage of fused roots was observed in maxillary molars. Vertucci type II configuration was more frequent than type IV in the mesial root of mandibular molars and the mesiobuccal root of maxillary molars. A third canal in the mesial root of first mandibular molars (6.7%) was higher than expected.

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