SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES| Volume 29, ISSUE 3, P214-219, March 2003

The Cemento-Dentino-Canal Junction, the Apical Foramen, and the Apical Constriction: Evaluation by Optical Microscopy

      The cemento-dentino-canal junction, the apical constriction, and the apical foramen are the principal reference points used to determine the apical limit for instrumentation and root canal filling. For a better understanding of these structures, the objective of this study was to evaluate histologically the localization of the cemento-dentino-canal junction and the diameters of the apical foramen and root canal at the cemento-dentino-canal junction. Eighteen anterior maxillary teeth (canines, central, and lateral incisors) were used, from which 269 histological sections were obtained and evaluated by optical microscopy. The results indicated that the longest extension of the cementum into the root canal was observed in the canines, this value decreasing in the lateral incisors, and even more so in the central incisors. The widest diameter of the apical foramen corresponded to the lateral incisors, followed by the canines and the central incisors. The diameter of the root canal at the cemento-dentino-canal junction was greatest in the canines and lowest in the central and lateral incisors. Great variability was observed in the measurements of the extension of the cementum into the root canal.
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