External root morphology of maxillary first premolars in Kenyan Africans East African Medical Journal Vol 86, No 12 (2009)
Printer-friendly versionPDF version

RN Ng'ang'a, MA Masiga, SW Maina


Objective: To determine the external root morphology of the maxillary first premolars in Kenyan Africans.

Design: In vitro descriptive cross-sectional study.

Setting: School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi.

Subjects: One hundred and fifty five extracted maxillary first premolar teeth obtained from patients aged between 13-30 years attending dental clinics within Nairobi.

Main outcome measures: Number of roots, direction of root curvature and tooth length.

Results: A total of 155 maxillary first premolars were studied, 77 from males and 78 from females. Overall, there were 83.2% two-rooted teeth (mean tooth length: buccal root 22.3 mm; lingual root 21.2 mm), 10.3% one-rooted (mean tooth length-22.6 mm) and 6.5% three-rooted. Three roots occurred more commonly in males than females and this was a statistically significant gender difference (P<0.05). Males were found to have larger mean tooth length than females in multirooted teeth. Majority of the roots were straight (57.2%). Distal and “S” curvatures were the commonest (19.1% and 10.2% respectively). There were no significant gender differences in direction of root curvature (P>0.05).

Conclusions: Maxillary first premolars were mostly two-rooted with straight roots. Males presented with two or three roots more often than females and had significantly larger mean tooth lengths.