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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 290-292
Root canal treatment of a maxillary second premolar with two palatal roots: A case report

Departments of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Pushpagiri College of Dental Sciences, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India

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Date of Submission04-Nov-2013
Date of Decision03-Dec-2013
Date of Acceptance25-Feb-2014
Date of Web Publication2-May-2014


Anatomical variations in root canal morphology are an enigma and it is this variability, which is often a complicating factor in a successful root canal treatment. To achieve success in endodontic therapy it is imperative that all the canals are located, cleaned and shaped and obturated three dimensionally. Maxillary first premolar having three separate roots has an incidence of 0.5-6%. Even rarer are reported clinical case reports of maxillary second premolar with three separate roots and three canals. This case report describes the endodontic management of maxillary second premolar with two palatal roots and one buccal root having three root canals

Keywords: Maxillary second premolar; root canal treatment; three canaled

How to cite this article:
George GK, Varghese AM, Devadathan A. Root canal treatment of a maxillary second premolar with two palatal roots: A case report. J Conserv Dent 2014;17:290-2

How to cite this URL:
George GK, Varghese AM, Devadathan A. Root canal treatment of a maxillary second premolar with two palatal roots: A case report. J Conserv Dent [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Oct 3];17:290-2. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Anatomical variations in root canal morphology are an enigma. The outcomes endodontic procedures are highly influenced by variable anatomic structures and, therefore, the clinicians ought to be aware of complex root canal structures and cross-sectional dimensions. [1] Maxillary first premolar having three separate roots has an incidence of 0.5-6%. [2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] The maxillary second premolars show an even lesser incidence of 0.3 to 2% in laboratory studies. [8],[9] Even rarer are reported clinical cases of maxillary second premolar with three separate roots and three canals. [10],[11] Three rooted maxillary premolars look anatomically similar to the molars are sometimes called small molars or radicolous [12],[13] and usually have a mesiobuccal, a distobuccal and a palatal canal. The root canal morphology of the maxillary second premolar in Indians shows a higher incidence of type II configuration (33.6%). [1] In this case report, we would like to describe the endodontic management of maxillary second premolar with two palatal roots and one buccal root having independent root canals.

   Case report Top

A 32-year-old female reported to department with pain in her upper right posterior region since one month. On clinical examination an old amalgam restoration was seen on the maxillary right molar and the second premolar adjacent to it had a proximal carious lesion associated with it. The second premolar was tender to percussion. An intra oral periapical radiograph was advised and it showed distoproximal radiolucency of crown approximating the pulp space of the maxillary right second premolar (Image 1). Multiple intra oral peri-apical radiographs were taken using Clark's tube shift technique as the premolar showed multiple roots. Pulp vitality test with electric pulp tester (Digitest, Parkell Products, NY, USA) showed a delayed response for the maxillary second premolar. A diagnosis of irreversible pulpitis was made and endodontic treatment was initiated.

Access opening was done under local anesthesia (2% Lignocaine with 1:80,000 Adrenaline, Lignox, Indoco Remedies Ltd, India) after rubber dam isolation. The unusual anatomy made it difficult to precisely discern, whether the roots were located on the buccal or palatal aspect. The access cavity was modified as described by Balleri et al., [14] with a tooth preparation at the bucco-proximo angle from the entrance of the buccal canal to the cavosurface angle resulting in a cavity with a T-shaped outline. But only one buccal (B) [Image 2] and one palatal canal (P1) [Image 2] orifices could be located. A modification was again made and the preparation was extended in the palato proximal directions and the orifice of the third root canal (P2) [Image 2] was located mesiopalatally in the palatal aspect.

Working length was determined with apex locator and confirmed with intra oral peri-apical radiograph [Image 3]. The three canals were initially enlarged with hand files until the 15 K file (Mani Inc. Tochigi, Japan) freely glided through the canal, following which the canals were enlarged to size F2 ProTaper rotary files ((Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) sequentially. During canal preparation Glyde (Dentsply Malliefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) was used as a lubricant and the root canals were copiously irrigated with 3% sodium hypochlorite (Prime Dental Product, Mumbai, India) and 0.9% normal saline (Baxter India Pvt Ltd., Alathur, India) after the use of each instrument. The root canals were properly dried with absorbent paper points and obturated with gutta-percha (Elements Obturation system, Sybron Endo, USA) and resin based sealer (AH plus, Dentsply De Trey, Konstanz, Germany) [Images 4 and 5]. The access cavity was then sealed with IRM (DENTSPLY Caulk, Milford, USA). The patient was recalled after seven days for the permanent restoration and then referred to the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry for a full coverage crown [Figure 1] contains the sub images 1-5.
Figure 1: Composite image showing pre operative IOPA, access preparation, working length IOPA, master cone IOPA and obturation IOPA of a maxillary 3 rooted second premolar

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   Discussion Top

Extra roots present an additional challenge, which necessitates modifications from the initial assessment stage to the design of the access preparation, cleaning and shaping and obturation of the tooth. So awareness of abnormal variation in the internal anatomy of the tooth is essential for success of an endodontically treated tooth. Velmurugan et al., [15] have reported that out of 220 maxillary second premolar teeth that were endodontically treated from Indian population, only three of these had three roots and three canals.

Accurate preoperative radiographs (straight and angled) are essential to reveal the number of roots and canals that exist in a tooth. [15],[16],[19] But radiographic analysis themselves are inadequate in obtaining a suitable abstraction of root and pulp canal system as evident in this case necessitating the use of more advanced methods like CBCT as a diagnostic tool to determine the canal morphology.

A general guideline for the identification of a three-rooted maxillary premolar on preoperative radiograph is that if the mesial-distal width of the mid-root image appears equal to or greater than the mesial-distal width of the crown image, then the tooth most likely has three canals. [18] This guideline may act as a good visual clue but is not necessarily absolute.

The access cavity for maxillary second premolars is usually oval [20] in the bucco-palatal direction. In three rooted maxillary premolar, the buccal orifices are usually close to each other and are hard to locate. Balleri et al., suggested a T-shaped access outline for three rooted maxillary first premolars. [14] This modification allows good access to the two buccal canals. But in this case a further modification had to be done as the canals were on the palatal aspect of the tooth and not buccally as expected from the radiographic interpretation necessitating an extension of the access preparation palato proximally to reveal the third orifice mesiopalatally.

In today's endodontic practice aberrant anatomy has become more common than before and, therefore, clinicians should be constantly on the lookout for variations in anatomy as the successful outcome of any case that depends on the complete debridement and disinfection of all canals.

   References Top

1.Jayasimha Raj U, Mylswamy S. Root canal morphology of maxillary second premolars in an Indian population. J Conserv Dent 2010;13:148-51.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Cohen S, Burns RC. Pathways of the Pulp. 5 th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002. p. 173-228.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Weine FS. Initiating endodontic treatment. Endodontic Therapy. 6 th ed. St Louis: Mosby; 2004. p. 104-63.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Bellizzi R, Hartwell G. Radiographic evaluation of root canal anatomy of in vivo endodontically treated maxillary premolars. J Endod 1985;11:37-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Carns EJ, Skidmore AE. Configurations and deviations of root canals of maxillary first premolars. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1973;36:880-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Pineda F, Kuttler Y. Mesiodistal and buccolingual roentgenographic investigation of 7,275 root canals. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1972;33:101-10.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Vertucci FJ, Gegauff A. Root canal morphology of the maxillary first premolar. J Am Dent Assoc 1979;99:194-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Vertucci F, Seelig A, Gillis R. Root canal morphology of the human maxillary second premolar. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1974;38:456-64.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Pecora JD, Sousa Neto MD, Saquy PC, Woelfel JB. In vitro study of root canal anatomy of maxillary second premolars. Braz Dent J 1993;3,81-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Ferreira CM, de Moraes IG, Bernardineli N. Three-rooted maxillary second premolar. J Endod 2000;26:105-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Low D. Unusual maxillary second premolar morphology: A case report. Quintessence Int 2001;32:626-8.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Maibaum WW. Endodontic treatment of a "radiculous" maxillary premolar: A case report. Gen Dent 1989;37:340-1.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Goon WW. The "radiculous" maxillary premolar: Recognition diagnosis, and case report of surgical intervention. Northwest Dent 1993;72:31-3.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Balleri P, Gesi A, Ferrari M. Primer premolar superior com tres raices. Endod Pract 1997;3:13-5.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Velmurugan N, Parameswaran A, Kandaswamy D, Smitha A, Vijayalakshmi D, Sowmya N. Maxillary second premolar with three roots and three separate root canals-case reports. Aust Endod J 2005;31:73-5.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Soares JA, Leonardo RT. Root canal treatment of three-rooted maxillary first and second premolars - a case report. Int Endod J 2003;36:705-10.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Poorni S, Karumaran CS, Indira R. Mandibular first premolar with two roots and three canals. Aust Endod J 2010;36:32-4.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Sieraski SM, Taylor GN, Kohn RA. Identification and endodontic management of three-canalled maxillary premolars. J Endod 1989; 15:29-32.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Theruvil R, Ganesh C, George AC. Endodontic management of a maxillary first and second premolar with three canals J Conserv Dent 2014;17:88-91.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Krapež J, Fidler A. Location and dimensions of access cavity in permanent incisors, canines, and premolars. J Conserv Dent 2013;16:404-7.  Back to cited text no. 20
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Correspondence Address:
Gingu Koshy George
Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Pushpagiri College of Dental Sciences, Thiruvalla - 686 548
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-0707.131807

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