Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gary R. Hartwell


The aim of this study was to determine if a buccal curvature in the palatal roots of maxillary molars affected the clinician’s ability to accurately determine working length. Twenty-seven extracted, human maxillary molars were sorted by palatal root curvatures as J- and C-type and the angle of curvature was determined. Straight-line access was made and a #20 file was placed into the canal until the tip was visible at the apical foramen then withdrawn. The file, tooth and calibration wire were radiographed on one image using the RVG. Actual (file) and radiographic (tooth) lengths were determined using the RVG ruler. Radiographic length appeared shorter on average than the actual length. Canal curvatures larger than 25 degrees had differences greater than 0.5mm. This represents a statistically significant difference between the actual and radiographic lengths as the degree of curvature increases. There was no significant difference between the J- and C- types.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission