Statement of the Problem: Gubernacular canal (GC) is a canal that extends from the follicle of unerupted permanent teeth to the alveolar bone crest filled with remnants of the dental lamina. This canal is thought to guide tooth eruption and be related to some pathologic conditions.
Purposes: This study aimed to determine the presence of GC and its anatomical characteristics in teeth, which failed to erupt normally on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images.
Materials and Method: This cross-sectional study evaluated CBCT images of 77 impacted permanent and supernumerary teeth obtained from 29 females and 21 males. The frequency of GC detection, its location in relation to the crown and root, the anatomical surface of the tooth from which the canal has originated, and the adjacent cortical table to which the canal opens, along with the length of the GC were studied.
Results: GC was observed in 53.2% of teeth. The anatomical tooth aspect of origin was occlusal/ incisal in 41.5% and crown in 82.9% of teeth. Moreover, 51.2% of GCs opened in palatal/lingual cortex and 63.4% of canals were not located along the tooth long axis. Finally, GC was detected in 85.7% of teeth undergoing the crown formation stage.
Conclusion: Although GC was introduced as an eruption pathway, this canal is also present in impacted teeth. This means that presence of this canal does not promise the normal eruption of tooth and the anatomical characteristics of GC may influence the eruption process.