Three-dimensional Analysis of Root Canal Curvature and Direction of Maxillary Lateral Incisors by Using Cone-beam Computed Tomography

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Root canal curvature can affect the technical quality of endodontic treatment. Prior studies measured canal curvature mainly by 2-dimensional radiography. The aim of this study was to measure the 3-dimensional (3D) root canal curvature and canal direction of maxillary lateral incisors by using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and mathematical modeling.


The CBCT images of 186 maxillary lateral incisors from 110 patients were used to measure 3D root canal curvature by using V-works and kappa software. In addition, the direction of each root canal was determined by measuring the orientation of the apical one-third with respect to the coronal two-thirds.


All 186 maxillary lateral incisors were found to have canal curvature that was mainly oriented in the disto-palatal direction. The point of maximum curvature was located 0.5 mm from the root apex.


Maxillary lateral incisors have 3D canal curvature that is maximal near the root apex, oriented in the disto-palatal direction. These CBCT analyses provide valuable information for root canal instrumentation of maxillary lateral incisors.

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