Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Do the location and dimensions of the mental foramen differ among individuals of different facial types and skeletal classes? A CBCT study


      Statement of problem

      Knowledge about the location and dimensions of the mental foramen is important for surgical planning and implant placement in the posterior mandibular region.


      The purpose of this clinical study was to assess the location and dimensions of the mental foramen in individuals of different facial type, skeletal class, and sex by means of cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images.

      Material and methods

      CBCT images of 142 individuals (72 women and 70 men) were classified according to the facial type (dolichocephalic, mesocephalic, or brachycephalic) and skeletal class (I, II, or III). The vertical and horizontal locations of each mental foramen were evaluated on panoramic reconstructions, and the greatest height and width of the mental foramen were determined on multiplanar reconstructions. Also, the distances from the mental foramen to the alveolar crest and to the inferior cortex of the mandible were obtained. The data were compared by using the Kruskal-Wallis test and multiway analysis of variance (α=.05).


      The facial type, skeletal class, and sex did not influence the vertical (P=1.00) or the horizontal (P>.15) location of the mental foramen. The most frequent location of the mental foramen was between the first and second premolars and below their apices. The dimensions of the mental foramen were not influenced by the studied factors in men (P>.07); conversely, the mental foramen dimensions were influenced for women (P<.03).


      The most frequent location of the mental foramen was between the first and second premolars and below their apices. An influence of the facial type and skeletal class was observed on the dimensions of the mental foramen in women.
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