Aim: The literature shows a wide variation in the number of root canals and canal morphology of maxillary premolars. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the root canal anatomy of maxillary premolars in an Indian subpopulation with the aid of spiral computed tomography (CT). Materials and methods: Computed tomographic scans of 67 patients were taken and analysed from a radiology database. A total of 119 maxillary first premolars and 121 maxillary second premolars were studied. Axial images of maxillary premolars, obtained from CT scans, were evaluated at all levels. The criteria evaluated were: number of root canals, root canal morphology classified by Weine (I–IV) and canal morphology classified by Vertucci (I–VIII). Results: A total of 2.5% of maxillary first premolars had one canal (Weine type I, Vertucci type I), whereas the rest had two canals (Weine type II-III, Vertucci type II-IV). In maxillary second premolars, 55.3% of teeth had one canal (Weine type I, Vertucci type I). One case demonstrated a Vertucci type VII canal configuration. Conclusions: Maxillary premolars of an Indian subpopulation demonstrated various canal morphologies and shapes, with predominantly two canals in the maxillary first premolar. A CT scan can be a useful tool in the accurate determination of root canal configuration.
Keywords: computed tomography, maxillary premolars, root canal anatomy, Vertucci’s classification