Objective: A new coding system for classifying the roots, main and accessory canals as well as developmental anomalies has been introduced recently. This paper discusses the advantages and potential application of the new system in research and clinical practice.
Methods: A comprehensive analysis was undertaken on the most common, existing classification for root canal morphology. The advantages and potential applications of a new system for classifying roots and canal systems in research and clinical practice are discussed.
Results: The analysis demonstrates deficiencies of the existing classification including lack of information on the number of roots, pulp chamber outline, lack of clarity in multi-rooted teeth, inability to define complex root canal configurations. The new coding system addresses the root and canal morphology in an accurate and systematic manner to provide detailed information of the tooth, root and canal anatomical features.
Conclusion: With current advances in endodontic research and practice and the increasing body of knowledge on root and canal morphology, the deficiencies of the existing system used for classifying root canal morphology have become more apparent. The new system for classifying root, main and accessory canal morphology as well as teeth with anomalies has the potential to be used in research, clinical practice and education to accurately reflect the real anatomy of a tooth.