Analysis of the Internal and External Morphology of the Mandibular First Molar in a Chilean Sub-Population Using Cone-Beam Computed Tomography

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Matus, D.; Arias, A.; Navarro, P. & Betancourt, P.


The mandibular first molar (MFM) commonly presents two roots with two canals in the mesial root and one or two canals in the distal root. However, morphological variations have been described in different populations, which must be considered when planning endodontic treatment. The aim of this study was to analyze the internal and external morphology of the MFM in a Chilean sub-population using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images. An in vivo cross-sectional, descriptive, and observational study was conducted using CBCT exams from 351 right and left MFM. The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics using the Chi- Square test for categorical variables, Fisher’s exact test, the Mann-Whitney U non-parametric test for two independent samples, and the Wilcoxon non-parametric test for related samples. Of the total sample, 1 root was observed in 2.27 % of the cases, 2 roots in 93.73 %, and 3 roots in 4 %. In relation to the number of canals, 71.23 % of the MFM showed 3 root canals, 16.81 % 4 canals, 9.69 % 2 canals, and 2.28 % 1 canal. Of all the studied cases, 2.3 % had a C-shaped anatomy. In terms of morphology, using Zhang’s classification, variant 3 was observed in 71.23 %, variant 4 in 12.82 %, variant 1 in 9.67 %, variant 6 in 4 %, and variant 8 in 2.28 %. In conclusion, the morphology of the MFM is variable in a Chilean sub-population, and these variations must be considered before and during endodontic therapy. CBCT proved to be an effective tool for the in vivo study of tooth morphology.

KEY WORDS: Mandibular first molar; Root morphology; Cone-beam computed tomography; Endodontics.

How to cite this article

MATUS, D.; ARIAS, A.; NAVARRO, P. & BETANCOURT, P. Analysis of the internal and external morphology of the mandibular first molar in a Chilean Sub-Population using cone-beam computed tomography. Int. J. Morphol., 41(4):1089-1094, 2023.