Micro-CT evaluation of apical delta morphologies in human teeth

Xianhua Gao, Franklin R. Tay, James L. Gutmann, Wei Fan, Ting Xu, Bing Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The apical delta is an intricate system within the root canal and incompletely debridement may affect the long-term prognosis of root canal therapy. The aim of the present study is to investigate the morphologic features of apical deltas in human teeth with micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) using a centreline-fitting algorithm. One hundred and thirty-six apical deltas were detected in 1400 teeth. Molars had more apical deltas (15.8%) than anterior teeth (6.3%). In maxillary molars, the mesiobuccal root had a significantly higher prevalence of apical delta than the palatal root or the distobuccal root. The median vertical distance of the apical delta was 1.87 mm with 13% more than 3 mm. The median diameter and length of the apical delta branches were 132.3 and 934.5 μm. Apical delta branches were not straight with cross-sectional shapes being non-circular. These morphological features of apical delta may complicate debridement of the infected root canal system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36501
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Nov 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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