Cross-sectional Morphology and Minimum Canal Wall Widths in C-shaped Roots of Mandibular Molars

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The cross-sectional canal morphology and minimum widths of buccal and lingual canal walls were studied in 20 mandibular molars with C-shaped roots and canal orifices. The roots were mounted in clear resin blocks and sectioned transversely at 1-mm intervals. A total of 154 cross-sections were evaluated with an image analyzer. Twelve different longitudinal canal configurations were identified. The most prevalent were types 1–2 and 1–2–1 with each type occurring in four roots. Evaluation of the cross-sectional morphology showed that the configurations were complete “C” (27%), incomplete C (64%), and non-C (9%). The mean value for the minimum width of the lingual canal wall was 0.58 ± 0.21 mm and the buccal wall was 0.96 ± 0.26 mm. This suggests that there is a higher risk of root perforation at the thinner lingual walls of C-shaped canals during shaping and post canal preparation procedures. Both buccal and lingual canal walls were frequently narrower at mesial locations.

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