Morphology of the Physiological Apical Foramen in Maxillary and Mandibular First Molars

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Abarca, J.; Zaror, C.; Monardes, H.; Hermosilla, V.; Muñoz, C. & Cantin, M.


Information regarding the anatomy of the physiological apical foramen is limited. Knowing its diameter and shapes contributes to clinical work, specifically to the cleaning and shaping of the apical third. The aim of this ex vivo study was to determine the minimum and maximum diameters and shape of the physiological apical foramen in the roots of maxillary and mandibular first molars. A descriptive study was conducted on 89 recently extracted first molars. Roots 3-5 mm from the apex were sectioned and prepared for analysis at 40x magnification. The minimum and maximum diameters of each physiological foramen were measured using the program Motic Images plus 2.0 ML. The shape of the foramina, classified as round, oval or irregular, was determined by the difference between the maximum and minimum diameters. A total of 174 physiological foramina were analyzed. The average of the minimum and maximum diameters was between 0.24-0.33 mm in maxillary first molars and between 0.25-0.33 mm in mandibular first molars. In maxillary molars, the most common shape of the foramen was oval (50%), then irregular (32%), then round (18%). In mandibular molars, the oval shape was also the most frequent (59%), followed by irregular (23%) and round (18%). The findings of this study regarding the morphology of physiological apical foramina in first molars make it easier for the operator to choose the appropriately-sized instruments to perform endodontic therapy successfully.

KEY WORDS: Physiological Foramen; Apical constriction; Root apex; Apical diameter; Foraminal morphology; Permanent first molar.

How to cite this article

ABARCA, J.; ZAROR, C.; MONARDES, H.; HERMOSILLA, V.; MUÑOZ, C. & CANTIN, M. Morphology of the physiological apical foramen in maxillary and mandibular first molars. Int. J. Morphol., 32(2):671-677, 2014.