Coronal pulp size in molars: a study of bitewing radiographs

N P Chandler, T R Pitt Ford, B D Monteith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To: (i) study coronal pulp dimensions in human first molar teeth; (ii) investigate the effects of restorations on pulp size; (iii) determine differences in dimensions between teeth of Mongoloid patients and teeth of other ethnic groups; and (iv) record the presence of pulp stones. METHODOLOGY: Bitewing radiographs of 121 subjects (mean age, 20.9 years) were taken under standardized conditions. The films were digitally scanned and nine measurements were made from the image of each first molar. The data were analysed in terms of presence or absence of restorations and in terms of racial group. Differences were examined using Student's t-test, Pearson correlations and Levene's test. RESULTS: A total of 445 teeth were analysed. Large crowns were correlated to large pulps. Teeth restored with occlusal and proximal restorations had significantly smaller pulps (P = 0.044 and 0.004, respectively), but no difference was found in pulp area in the clinical crown between the restoration types. Mongoloid crowns were shorter and more bulbous. Pulp areas of maxillary molars and pulp widths at the cervix of mandibular molars were significantly larger in Mongoloids. The pulp area in the clinical crown correlated to pulp horn height for Mongoloids and others and for maxillary and mandibular teeth. No differences were found between the heights of pulp horns in the Mongoloid and other teeth. Four of the pulp measurements demonstrated sexual dimorphism. Stones were present in almost 10% of the subjects, representing 4% of the tooth pulps examined. CONCLUSION: Even teeth with shallow occlusal restorations had reduced pulp spaces. There were significant differences in pulp and crown dimensions between the teeth of Mongoloid patients and those of other patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757 - 763
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Endodontic Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


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