Analysis of the Mental Foramen and Inferior Alveolar Canal pattern based on CBCT data



Anterior loop, CBCT, Mental Foramen, Pattern Position


The mental foramen is located in a position where certain dental procedures may cause inadvertent damage to the mental nerve and lead to disorders of sensory functions such as altered sensa¬tion, complete numbness, and neuropathic pain, which are uncommon but severe treatment complications with significant medico-legal implications. Hence thorough knowledge of its anatomical relation to its surrounding structures is critical while undertaking dental procedures. To investigate the size, shape, and position of the mental
foramen (MF), its distance from adjacent teeth and mandibular borders, and the pattern of the inferior alveolar canal using CBCT in the Indian subpopulation. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study The study evaluated 310 CBCT scans (179 males, 131
females) in axial, sagittal, and coronal planes. CBCT scans were evaluated, mapped and measured for all the parameters listed above based on age and sex. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, independent‘t-test, and chi-square test. The size of MF is independent of age and sex; the most frequent shape of MF was Type III (round); location was below the apex of the second premolar (p>0.05). The
distance of MF from the nearest root apex decreased with an increase in age and more in females than males (p>0.05). Inferior Alveolar Nerve Canal (IAC) pattern was perpendicular, and linear patterns of exit at MF were more common than anterior loops in all age groups.


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PerpendicularN (%)ALN (%)LinearN (%)PerpendicularN (%)ALN (%)Age 20-45 92 (40.4) 115 (50.4) 21 (9.2) 98 (43) 113 (49.6) 17 (7.5)46-60 34 (54.8) 21 (33.9) 7 (11.3) 30 (48.4) 29 (46.8) 3 (4.8)>60 15 (75) 5 (25) 0 (0) 6 (30) 11 (55) 3 (15)p value 0.009* 0.473sex Male 79 (44.1) 84 (46.9) 16 (8.9) 75 (41.9) 92 (51.4) 12 (6.7)Female 57 (43.5) 62 (47.3) 12 (9.2) 59 (45) 61 (46.6) 11 (8.4)p value 0.832 0.663Chi-square test; * indicates significant at p≤0.05 (significant)RESEARCH < 9

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How to Cite

Vema, N., Kaushik, M., Soujanya, E., Mehra, N., & George, A. (2023). Analysis of the Mental Foramen and Inferior Alveolar Canal pattern based on CBCT data. South African Dental Journal, 78(01), 11–18. Retrieved from