Assessment of the Mandibular Canal and Mental Foramen Variations Using Cone Beam Computed Tomography

Document Type : Original Article(s)



Statement of the Problem: It is crucial to have sufficient knowledge aboutinferior alveolar canal variations in mandibular surgeries. Anatomic imaging ofthe mandibular canal prior to surgical procedures such as implant placement andsagittal split osteotomy is essential for achieving the best results and confrontingminimal complications.Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine normal variations of themandibular canal and mental foramen in a selected Iranian population.Material and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 334 conebeam computed tomography (CBCT) of patients , comprising of 119 malesand 215 females , aged between 15-75 years (mean age, 45±7.5 years). Theprevalence of anterior loop, the level of mandibular canal cortication, andmental foramen variations were recorded on CBCT images.Results: Statistical analysis showed no significant differences in the prevalenceof the anterior loop and mental foramen variations in both sides regarding the age and gender (p>0.05). Anterior loop was detected in 90.5% of cases, while accessory mandibular canals were observed in 4.6% of the patients. More thanone mental foramen was detected in 5 (4.2%) men and 17 (7.9%) women in theright side and in the left side; this was detected in 11(9.2%) men and 10 (4.7%)women. No significant differences were found in the number of mental foramenregarding to gender and age in both sides (p>0.05). A non-significant relationshipwas observed between the age groups, the gender, and the prevalence ofaccessory canals. Moreover, statistical analysis did not demonstrate a significantrelationship between gender and mandibular canal cortication in both sides.Conclusions: This study demonstrated that there were numerous anatomicalvariations of the mandibular canal, mental foramen and, anterior loop.