Evaluation of Isthmus Frequency, Location, and Types in Mesiobuccal Roots of First Maxillary Molars. An ex vivo study

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Daniela Matus & Mario Cantín


The aim was to describe the internal configuration of the canalicular system of the mesiobuccal root (MB) of the maxillary first permanent molar, identifying the number of canals and isthmus frequency, location, and types at 1, 3 and 5 mm from the apex. This research was approved by the ethics committee. A descriptive ex vivo cross-sectional study was conducted. Extracted molars were cleaned, disinfected and fixed in 10% buffered formalin. The non-instrumented MB root was identified and 3 cross sections at 1, 3 and 5 mm from apical to coronal identified as A, B and C were obtained. 150 sections were stained with methylene blue and observed under microscope, in both apical and coronal surface using the ImageJ program. Descriptive statistics (Mean±SD) was obtained, and ANOVA and Pearson chi- square tests were used to compare the sections at different levels. A total of 445 root canals were observed, 289 corresponded to accessory canals. 41.6% were secondary mesiobuccal canal (MB2) and 5.1% a third accessory canal. The isthmus observed were Type I (48), followed by Type IV (26); Types II, III and V did not exceed 15%. According to the Pearson chi-square test, there are significant differences between the isthmus types and distance of the apex (p> 0.001). The incidence of Type I was greater near the apex, with a decline towards 3.0 mm. A complex morphology of the apical maxillary MB root system was found, and explains their low success rate when treated endodontically. Anatomical variations such as MB2, accessory canals and isthmus should be considered when planning and conducting endodontic treatment or apical surgery, in order to achieve more successful procedures. It is recommended that apicectomies extend at least 3.3 mm from the apex.

KEY WORDS: Canal anatomy; Maxillary first molar; Mesiobuccal root; Mesiobuccal canal; Isthmus; Root resection.

How to cite this article

MATUS, D. & CANTÍN, M. Evaluation of isthmus frequency, location, and types in mesiobuccal roots of first maxillary molars. An ex vivo study. Int. J. Morphol., 34(2):804-810, 2016.