West China Journal of Stomatology

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Confusion and solution for root canal working length determination

Huang Dingming, Tan Xuelian, Zhang Lan, Zhou Xuedong.   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Dept. of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
  • Received:2015-12-30 Revised:2016-01-20 Online:2016-04-01 Published:2016-04-01
  • Contact: Zhou Xuedong, E-mail: zhouxd@scu.edu.cn.
  • Supported by:

    The Ministry of Health Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics’ Clinical State Key Construction Specialist Foundation of China (2010).


Pulpitis and periapical periodontitis is a type of bacterial infectious disease, and bacteria frequently plant in the entire root canal system during the terminal stage. Main clinical treatment strategy of the disease requires root canal therapy, a key and core procedure for the successful treatment by thoroughly removing the root canal infection. The premise and guarantee of thoroughly removing root canal infection is by determining the accurate root canal working length. However, methods of accurately determining root canal working length, especially determining the position of apical stop, has been a hot topic among endodontic specialists, frequently causing confusion among many clinicians. This review provides a brief introduction of the complexity of the apical root anatomical structure, the confusion in determining the position of apical stop, and the method to determine the root canal working length.

Key words: root canal therapy, root canal working length, root canal morphology, apical stop, root canal infection