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Int Endod J. 2001 Jul;34(5):359-70.

Root and canal morphology of Burmese mandibular molars.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry, Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, University College London, UK.



To study the root canal morphology of Burmese mandibular molars using a canal staining and tooth clearing technique.


Mandibular molars (331) were collected from indigenous Burmese patients and designated; first (139), second (134), third (58) molars. Following pulp tissue removal and staining of the canal systems with Indian ink, the teeth were decalcified and rendered clear with methyl salicylate. Under magnification (x3), the following features were evaluated: (i) root number and morphology, (ii) number of canals per root, (iii) root canal configuration (Vertucci's classification), (iv) number of apical foramina per root, (v) number and location of lateral canals and (vi) the presence of intercanal communications.


Most of the mandibular molars had two separate roots (90% in first molars, 58% in second molars, 53% in third molars) and three-rooted teeth were (10%) confined to first molars. C-shaped roots occurred in 22.4% of mandibular second molars and a further 14.9% had two fused roots. The majority (81-100%) of conical distal roots possessed a simple type I (single canal) configuration. Whilst the canal system of mesial roots was more complex: 52-85% contained two canals, of which type II (two orifices, one foramen) and type IV (two separate canals) were the most prevalent. A broad range of 6.5-70% had intercanal communications. Fused/single-rooted molars had a wide variety of canal system types but intercanal communications were rare except in C-shaped roots (33%) of second molars. The majority of roots of all molars contained one or two apical foramina (91-96%) and the apical third had the highest prevalence of lateral canals.


There was a high prevalence of three-rooted mandibular first molars and C-shaped roots/canals in mandibular second molars from a Burmese population. Conical roots tend to have simple canal systems, whilst flatter/broader roots have more complex canal systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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