Root and root canal morphology of the human permanent maxillary first molar: a literature review.

By Cleghorn BM, Christie WH, Dong CC.

Date: 06/2006
Journal: JOE


Purpose: to review the literature with respect to the root and canal systems in the maxillary first molar.


•A review of the literature was performed for each of the teeth in the permanent dentition with respect to the number and type of roots and root canal morphology.

•The data were analyzed and weighted averages were determined for each of the following:

1.Number of roots

2.Incidence of root fusion

3.Number of canals and apical foramina for the : (Mesio buccal,, Disto buccal & Palatal root)

4. Incidence of C-shaped canals 5.Summary of case reports of other anomalies •

Most highlighted Results: 

•Over 95% of Max 1st Molars had 3 roots and 3.9% had two roots.

•The incidence of fusion of any 2 or 3 roots was approximately 5.2%. •Conical and C-shaped roots and canals were rarely found (0.12%).

•The incidence of two canals in the mesiobuccal root was 56.8% and of one canal was 43.1%.

•The incidence of two canals in the mesiobuccal root was higher in laboratory studies (60.5%) compared to clinical studies (54.7%).

•Less variation was found in the distobuccal and palatal roots.

•One canal was found in the distobuccal root in 98.3% of teeth whereas the palatal root had one canal in over 99% of the teeth studied