Variations in root canal anatomy (Part 1) – Maxillary 1st Premolar [Dr. MY]

As clinicians, we must be aware of the variations that are possible in root canal anatomy.  There have been many studies that have attempted to classify these variations and one of the commonly sited papers is Vertucci et al. 1984.  The following is a diagrammatic representation of Vertucci’s canal configuration:


(Adapted from Vertucci 2005)

We all know that maxillary 1st premolars tend to be quite narrow mesio-distally and have slender roots, which can pose both restorative and endodontic challenges.  The following are a few examples of variations in root canal anatomy in 1st premolars that I have managed recently.  A thorough preoperative radiographic assessment and careful visual examination upon endodontic access are critical in locating all the canals! 

Two canals in two roots (Type I)

FITZPATRICK RENEE 067123 20130115 16-33-06(1)

FITZPATRICK RENEE 067123 20130211 14-37-27(1) 

Two canals in one root (Type II)

LAI FAT FUR JEFFREY 067130 20130208 13-06-33(1) 

LAI FAT FUR JEFFREY 067130 20130208 13-06-34(1)

Two canals in one root (Type IV)

STERJOVSKI ZORAN 067424 20130326 12-41-38

STERJOVSKI ZORAN 067424 20130423 14-51-24

Three canals in three roots (Type I)

MC LACHLAN LOCHLAN 067332 20130226 16-20-25





MC LACHLAN LOCHLAN 067332 20130422 17-03-14


Dr. Michael Yoon