Incidence and configuration of canal systems in the mesiobuccal root of maxillary first and second molars

J Endod. 1990 Jul;16(7):311-7. doi: 10.1016/s0099-2399(06)81940-0.


The anatomy of the mesiobuccal (MB) root of 51 maxillary first and 32 maxillary second molars was studied. Initially, an attempt was made to locate all canals using a standard access and hand instruments. A bur was next used carefully to locate any additional second mesiobuccal (mesiolingual (ML)) canals. Finally, after crown removal, the teeth were reduced horizontally in 1-mm increments and examined by microscope. A second ML canal was located in the coronal half of 95.2% of the roots: by hand instruments in 54.2%; bur in 31.3%; and microscope in 9.6%. There were no root perforations when the bur was used as described. The ML canal orifice averaged 1.82 mm lingual to the MB canal orifice. The difference in incidence of ML canals between the first and second molars was not statistically significant. The canal systems were type 1, 4.8%; type 2, 49.4%, and type 3, 45.8%.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Pulp Cavity / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Maxilla
  • Molar / anatomy & histology*
  • Root Canal Therapy / instrumentation
  • Tooth Root / anatomy & histology*