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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 519-521  

Maxillary lateral incisors with two canals and two separate curved roots

1 Private practice, Cochin, Kerala, India
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, SRM Dental College, Chennai, India
3 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Annoor Dental College, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication20-Feb-2013

Correspondence Address:
Ajit George Mohan
Dental and Medical Centre, III/351 Koorans Annexe, NH-47, Kothakulangara, Angamaly, Cochin, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-237X.107460

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Variation in the roots and root canal anatomy seems to be the norm rather than an exception. For a successful endodontic treatment, a clinician should have a thorough knowledge of the internal and external dental anatomy and its variations. Maxillary lateral incisors usually exhibit single canal with a single root. In this case, clinical examination and radiographs clearly demonstrates the presence of two root canals with two separate curved roots. This case report emphasizes the need for attention during endodontic management of maxillary lateral incisors.

Keywords: Maxillary lateral incisor, root canal, root canal anatomy, tooth morphology

How to cite this article:
Mohan AG, Rajesh Ebenezar A V, George L, Sujathan, Josy SA. Maxillary lateral incisors with two canals and two separate curved roots . Contemp Clin Dent 2012;3:519-21

How to cite this URL:
Mohan AG, Rajesh Ebenezar A V, George L, Sujathan, Josy SA. Maxillary lateral incisors with two canals and two separate curved roots . Contemp Clin Dent [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Sep 27];3:519-21. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Many endodontic literatures project maxillary lateral incisors as a tooth with a single root and single canal. [1],[2],[3] This may not be true in 100% of cases as case reports have advocated maxillary lateral incisors showing two roots with two or three root canals. [4],[5] Successful non-surgical endodontic management depends upon thorough bacterial elimination and complete obturation of the root canal system. Failure to recognize and treat an extra-canal might provide a constant source of irritation, thereby compromising the long-term success of the root canal therapy. [6] Thus, it is essential to understand the morphology of the root canals and to assess numerous variations before initiating root canal treatment. [1],[2]

   Case Report Top

A 25-year-old Indian female was referred by his general dentist for root canal treatment of the maxillary left lateral incisor (tooth 22). The general dentist referred the patient after observing its unusual root canal morphology with two separate curved roots in the pre-operative radiograph [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Preoperative radiograph

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On clinical examination, tooth 22 did not appear to have any coronal morphological variation and was identical to its left counterpart. No discoloration of the crown was evident. The tooth had mild tenderness to percussion; however, there was no evidence of swelling or sinus tract. The mucosa and the underlying alveolar bone were not tender to palpation. Gingival probing depths and tooth mobility were within physiologic limits. The tooth did not respond to electric and thermal pulp sensibility tests whilst the contralateral and adjacent teeth responded within normal limits. Patient reported a possible history of trauma 10 years back. The tooth was diagnosed with asymptomatic irreversible pulpits with chronic apical periodontitis.

After administering local anesthesia of 2% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine, endodontic access cavity was done on the palatal surface by using a no. 2 round bur and E× 24 bur (non-end cutting tapered fissure; Mani, Tochigi, Japan) under rubber dam isolation. Clinical exploration with a DG-16 endodontic explorer (Hu-Friedy, Chicago, IL, USA) revealed two root canal orifices in a mesio-distal direction. Pulp extirpation was performed by using a barbed broach (Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) and K-files (Mani Inc., Tochigi, Japan). The canal was thoroughly debrided with copious irrigation of sodium hypochlorite (2.5%) and 17% ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) followed by saline (0.9%). Coronal flaring of the root canal was done by using Gates-Glidden drills no. 1-4 (Mani Inc.). The working length was determined by using the apex locator (Propex; Dentsply Maillefer) and confirmed radiographically.

Both the root canals were cleaned and shaped up to a size 30 master apical hand nickel-titanium file (hand protaper F3 size) using a step-back technique. The canals were dried with sterile paper points (Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland), and calcium hydroxide paste (Calcicur; VOCO, Cuxhaven, Germany) was placed as an inter-appointment medicament. The access cavity was sealed temporarily with Cavit (3M ESPE AG, Seefeld, Germany). The patient was recalled after a week at which time the tooth was asymptomatic. The root canals were irrigated, dried and filled by cold lateral compaction of gutta-percha using a zinc oxide eugenol sealer (Kemdent; Associated Dental Products Ltd., Swindon, UK). The access cavity was restored with glass ionomer cement (Fuji IX; GC Corp., Tokyo, Japan), and a postoperative radiograph was taken [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Post-operative radiograph

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   Discussion Top

The present case report demonstrates a rare case of maxillary lateral incisor teeth with two curved roots and two root canals, without exhibiting any morphological anomaly of the crown. Maxillary lateral incisor teeth usually exhibit single root with a single canal. [7] However, there are numerous case reports showing maxillary lateral incisor teeth with two canals, [8],[9],[10] three canals, [11],[12] or even four canals. [13] Many of these cases often manifest clinically as gemination, fusion, concrescence, or dens invaginatus [14] since maxillary lateral incisors are often located at the site of high embryological risk. [15],[16]

In this clinical report, the initial preoperative radiograph reveals the presence of two separate curved roots with two canals. Curving of the roots to this degree is almost a rarity in this type of tooth. The endodontic access cavity preparation was extended mesiodistally to improve the visibility and the access. The endodontic instrumentation was carried out with nickel-titanium hand instruments, considering the canal curvature.

Considering the fact that morphological variations exist in these teeth, it becomes mandatory that when a patient comes with persistent pain or sensitivity to hot and cold after root canal treatment, the clinician must suspect the presence of missed canals. Judicious use of high-end diagnostic aids should also be considered in such complex situations. [17]

   Conclusion Top

The clinician should be always attentive to detect anatomic anomalies. Importance of careful preoperative evaluation cannot be over emphasized.

   References Top

1.Caliþkan MK, Pehlivan Y, Sepetçioðlu F, Türkün M, Tuncer SS. Root canal morphology of human permanent teeth in a Turkish population. J Endod 1995;21:200-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Vertucci FJ. Root canal anatomy of the human permanent teeth. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1984;58:589-99.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Sert S, Bayirli GS. Evaluation of the root canal configurations of the mandibular and maxillary permanent teeth by gender in the Turkish population. J Endod 2004;30:391-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Walvekar SV, Behbehani JM. Three root canals and dens formation in a maxillary lateral incisor: A case report. J Endod 1997;23:185-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Pereira AJ, Fidel RA, Fidel SR. Maxillary lateral incisor with two root canals: Fusion, gemination or dens invaginatus? Braz Dent J 2000;11:141-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Kelly JR. Birooted primary canines. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1978;46:872.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Burns RC, Herbranson EJ. "Tooth morphology and access cavity preparation" in Pathways of the Pulp. 8 th ed. St. Louis, MO, USA: Mosby Elsevier; 2002. p. 173-229.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Christie WH, Peikoff MD, Acheson DW. Endodontic treatment of two maxillary lateral incisors with anomalous root formation. J Endod 1981;7:528-34.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Friedman S, Mor H, Stabholz A. Endodontic therapy of a fused permanent maxillary lateral incisor. J Endod 1984;10:449-51.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Thompson BH, Portell FR, Hartwell GR. Two root canals in a maxillary lateral incisor. J Endod 1985;11:353-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Peix-Sánchez M, Miñana-Laliga R. A case of unusual anatomy: A maxillary lateral incisor with three canals. Int Endod J 1999;32:236-40.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Jung M. Endodontic treatment of dens invaginatus type III with three root canals and open apical foramen. Int Endod J 2004;37:205-13.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Kottoor J, Murugesan R, Albuquerque DV. A maxillary lateral incisor with four root canals. Int Endod J 2012;45:393-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Indra R, Srinivasan MR, Farzana H, Karthikeyan K. Endodontic management of a fused maxillary lateral incisor with a supernumerary tooth: A case report. J Endod 2006;32:1217-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Al-Hezaimi K, Naghshbandi J, Simon JH, Oglesby S, Rotstein I. Successful treatment of a radicular groove by intentional replantation and Emdogain therapy. Dent Traumatol 2004;20:226-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.da Silva Neto UX, Hirai VH, Papalexiou V, Gonçalves SB, Westphalen VP, Bramante CM, et al. Combined endodontic therapy and surgery in the treatment of dens invaginatus Type 3: Case report. J Can Dent Assoc 2005;71:855-8.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Sachdeva GS, Ballal S, Gopikrishna V, Kandaswamy D. Endodontic management of a mandibular second premolar with four roots and four root canals with the aid of spiral computed tomography: A case report. J Endod 2008;34:104-7.  Back to cited text no. 17


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

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