An anatomical investigation of the mandibular second molar using micro-computed tomography

Sara A. Barsness, Walter R Bowles, Alex Fok, Scott B McClanahan, Samantha H Roach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: An understanding of root anatomy is an important foundation for providing successful endodontic treatment. The aim of this study was to use micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to investigate the root anatomy of the mandibular second molar.

Methods: Eighteen mandibular second molars were scanned using micro-CT. Images were reconstructed, and measurements and observations were recorded regarding pulpal floor anatomy, canal configuration, root wall thickness along the root, presence of calcifications in the pulp chamber and in canals, and apical anatomy.

Results/conclusions: The most frequently found mesial root canal configuration was Vertucci Type 7 (1-2-1-2), which was seen in 33.3 % of samples. Distal canals were most frequently Vertucci Type 1 (one canal), with 61.1 % of samples showing this configuration. 11.1 % of samples had two canals, 44.4 % of samples had three canals, 33.3 % of samples had four canals, and 11.1 % of samples had five canals at some point along the length of the roots. Average root wall thickness between the mesiobuccal canal and the furcation was 1.23 mm. Mesiolingual canal root wall thickness was on average 1.29 mm, and the distal root furcation wall thickness averaged 1.41 mm. 77.8 % of samples had calcifications present in both the pulp chamber and within the canals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical and Radiologic Anatomy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer-Verlag France.


  • Calcifications
  • Canal configurations
  • Mandibular second molar
  • Micro-computed tomography
  • Root wall thickness


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