Objective: Maxillary impacted canines (MIC) could suffer root changes after canine traction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 3-dimensional root changes in buccal versus palatal MIC after orthodontic traction. Materials and methods: This longitudinal and retrospective study included pre-treatment and after traction cone beam computed tomography scans (CBCTs) of 30 subjects with unilateral/bilateral MIC. A total of 43 MIC were divided into 2 groups: buccal (n = 17) or palatal (n = 26). Root changes in length and area after orthodontic traction were measured at sagittal, coronal and axial sections. Intergroup comparison was carried out by t or U Mann-Whitney tests, depending on normality. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the influence of all predictor variables on root changes (P < 0.05). Results: Significant difference between groups was found for root area changes in the upper limit of the cervical third at axial section that showed greater appositional values for the palatal impacted canine group (−1.18 mm2) and resorptive values for the buccal impacted canine group (0.62 mm2) (P = 0.024). Position of impaction palatal influenced the increase of root area in the coronal section and in the upper limit of the cervical third at axial section. Age directly influenced the decrease of total length and root area in sagittal and coronal sections, respectively. Conclusion: Orthodontic traction of MIC produced an important appositional root change in the palatal impaction group in the axial root area of the upper limit of the cervical third. Impaction position and age influenced the increase and decrease of root area and length of some specific radicular regions.