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This article describes a method of estimating the severity of mandibular bone resorption by using the mental foramen and the inferior border of the mandible, as they appear in panoramic radiographs, as reference points.
Measurements of 260 images in panoramic radiographs of normal mandibles reveal that, in a high percentage of films, regardless of the usual magnification or distortion of the images, the lower edge of the mental foramen lies very close to a line dividing the mandible into thirds. By using the approximate ratio of 3:1, the original height of the mandible can be conveniently estimated from the height of the lower edge of the foramen above the inferior border of the mandible. The reduction in height of the bone can then also be estimated.
It is suggested that this method of estimating and describing the degree of bone resorption may facilitate the study of this disease by providing an anatomic basis for classifying or grouping patients affected to varying degrees.
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Read before the Pacific Coast Society of Prosthodontists, Seattle, Wash.
Submitted by the first author as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.S.D. degree, University of Washington.
© 1974 The C. V. Mosby Company. Published by Elsevier Inc.