Roots of the maxillary first and second molars in horizontal relation to alveolar cortical plates and maxillary sinus: computed tomography assessment for infection spread

Clin Oral Investig. 2006 Mar;10(1):35-41. doi: 10.1007/s00784-005-0020-5. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


The purposes of this study were to investigate the horizontal relationship of the roots of maxillary molars with the cortical plates and the maxillary sinus and to investigate the influence of these relationships on the spread of odontogenic infection. Computed tomography images of 120 control subjects and 49 patients with infection originating in the maxillary first or second molar were investigated. In the control group, more than 60% of the first molar roots contacted both palatal and buccal cortical plates (type A), while such contact was not seen in more than 60% of second molars. The floor of maxillary sinus was most frequently observed at the level between the bifurcation and apices of roots in both first and second molars. In patients with infection, cortical changes were more frequently seen on the buccal side than on the palatal side, and 80% of patients with buccal cortical change showed the position in which the buccal roots were close to the buccal cortical plate. Mucosal thickening of the maxillary sinus was found in 87.8%. The buccopalatal spread of odontogenic infection originating in the maxillary first and second molars was influenced by the horizontal root position in relation to the cortices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alveolar Process / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Focal Infection, Dental / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging*
  • Maxillary Sinus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Periapical Diseases / physiopathology
  • Periodontitis / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tooth Diseases / physiopathology
  • Tooth Root / diagnostic imaging*