Butterfly effect in transverse sections of single rooted teeth

  • Archana Santhanam Saveetha Dental College, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University
  • Shivani N


Aim: To evaluate the presence of butterfly effect in the transverse sections of the roots of incisors, canines and premolars.

Background: The butterfly effect is an optical phenomenon seen generally in the cross sections of root under light microscope. It occurs due to the change in the dentinal tubule density which causes light to refract and scatter when passed through it.

Materials and Methods: A total of 30 single rooted freshly extracted teeth without any caries and fractures were selected and were grouped in three groups (Group I =10 incisors, Group II =10 canines, Group III premolars respectively). Using a Micro motor and a diamond abrasive bur, the crowns were decoronated and the root were sectioned into 3 transverse sections.  Each section is made into 1mm uniform thickness and were observed under light microscopy to detect the presence or absence of butterfly effect and the scoring was given accordingly.

Results: 90% of incisors and canines showed butterfly effect, whereas only 20% of the premolars showed the effect. The butterfly effect was found to be more in the buccolingual direction than in the mesiodistal direction.

Conclusion: The presence of butterfly effect in transverse sections of root helps in understanding the root fractures which has its significance in endodontics during instrumentation.



1. Nanci A, editors. Ten Cate's oral histology: development, structure, and function. 8 th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier; 2012. p. 194.
2. Berkovits BKB, Holland GR, Moxham BJ. Oral anatomy, histology and embryology. 3 th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier; 2005. p. 125.
3. Marshall GW Jr, Marshall SJ, Kinney JH, Balooch MJ. The dentin substrate: structure and properties related to bonding. J Dent. 1997; 25(6):441-58.
4. Handysides RA, Bakland LK. Treatment planning considerations for endodontically treated teeth. In: Baba NZ, editors. Contemporary restoration of endodontically treated teeth: evidence-based diagnosis and treatment planning. Chicago: Quintessence Publishing Co, Inc; 2013. p. 25-26.
5. Haueisen H, Gartner K, Kaiser L, Trohorsch D, Heidemann D. Vertical root fracture: prevalence, etiology and diagnosis. Quintessence Int. 2013; 44(7):467-74.
6. Vasiliadis L, Darling AI, Levers BG. The amount and distribution of sclerotic human root dentine. Arch Oral Biol. 1983; 28(7):645-9.
7. Beust TB. Reactions of the dentinal fibril to external irritation. J Am Dent Assoc. 1931; 18(6):1060-73.
8. Burke FM, Samarawickrama DY. Progressive changes in the pulpo-dentinal complex and their clinical consequences. Gerodontology. 1995; 12(12):57-66.
9. Rama Rao MS, Sekhar VSSK, Kiran Kumar Ch, Tejasree Rathod R. Comparative evaluation of presence of butterfly effect in transverse sections of incisors, canines and premolars – an in-vitro study. Indian Journal of Mednodent and Allied Sciences. 2016; 4(2):71-5.
10. Von Arx T, Steiner RG, Tay FR. Apical surgery: endoscopic findings at the resection level of 168 consecutively treated roots. Int Endod J. 2011; 44(4):290–302. 11. Lertchirakarn V, Palamara JE, Messer HH. Load and strain during lateral condensation and vertical root fracture. J Endod. 1999; 25(2):99-104.
Shivani N. Butterfly effect in transverse sections of single rooted teeth
12. Lertchirakarn V, Palamara JE, Messer HH. Patterns of vertical root fracture: factors affecting stress distribution in the root canal. J Endod. 2003; 29(8):523-8. 13. Sahu Y, Deshmukh P, Jain A, Sahu A. The butterfly effect: an investigation of hardness and density of sectioned roots. J Oral Dent Health. 2017; 1(3):1-4. 14. Russell AA, Chandler NP, Hauman C, Siddiqui AY, Tompkins GR. The butterfly effects: an investigation of sectioned roots. J Endod. 2013; 39(2):208-10. 15. Russell AA, Chris He LH, Chandler NP. Investigation of dentine hardness in roots exhibiting the butterfly effect. J Endod. 2014; 40(6):
How to Cite
SANTHANAM, Archana; N, Shivani. EVALUATE THE PRESENCE OF BUTTERFLY EFFECT IN THE TRANSVERSE SECTIONS OF THE ROOTS OF INCISORS, CANINES AND PREMOLARES. Journal of Morphological Sciences, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 43-47, june 2019. ISSN 2545-4706. Available at: <http://jms.mk/jms/article/view/55>. Date accessed: 19 july 2019.