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Root Anatomy and Canal Configuration of the Permanent Mandibular First Molar: A Systematic Review

Published:October 21, 2010DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2010.08.055

      Abstract

      Introduction

      The main goal of endodontic therapy is to prevent or heal apical periodontitis. However, root canal anatomy might present a clinical challenge directly related to the treatment outcome. The purpose of this study was to review published literature related to root anatomy and root canal configuration of the permanent mandibular first molar.

      Methods

      An exhaustive search was undertaken to identify published literature related to the root anatomy and root canal morphology of the permanent mandibular first molar by using key words. The search of the MEDLINE database included all publications from 1966–May 2010. Selected articles were then obtained and reviewed. Data evaluated and summarized in the data sheet included methodology, population, number of teeth per study (power), number of root canals, type of root canal configuration, and identification of number of apical foramina.

      Results

      Forty-one studies were identified including a total of 18,781 teeth. The incidence of a third root was 13% and was strongly correlated with the ethnicity of the studied population. Three canals were present in 61.3%, 4 canals in 35.7%, and 5 canals in approximately 1%. Root canal configuration of the mesial root revealed 2 canals in 94.4% and 3 canals in 2.3%. The most common canal system configuration was Vertucci type IV (52.3%), followed by type II (35%). Root canal configuration of the distal root revealed type I configuration in 62.7%, followed by types II (14.5%) and IV (12.4%). The presence of isthmus communications averaged 54.8% on the mesial and 20.2% on the distal root.

      Conclusions

      The number of roots on the mandibular first molar is directly related to ethnicity. Root canal morphology and configuration might present the clinician with a complex anatomy requiring more diagnostic approaches, access modifications, and clinical skills to successfully localize, negotiate, disinfect, and seal the root canal system.

      Key Words

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