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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-48

Location of mental foramen in a group of Libyan patients: An orthopantomographic study

1 Department of Periodontology, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
2 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
3 Al Noor Dental Clinic, Tripoli, Libya
4 AFH, Jizan, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Ali Musrati
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Benghazi, Benghazi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/dmr.dmr_21_19

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Background and Objective: The mental foramen (MF) is a crucial landmark because the mental nerves and vessels exit through it. Therefore, marking its location is important when performing surgeries, placement of dental implants, or administering anesthesia and hence avoiding nerve damage. As the exact location and shape of the MF is not similar in different population groups, this study was the first one conducted to determine MF shape and position in a group of Libyan patients. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the vertical and horizontal positions of the MF, in addition to its size and shape as seen in orthopantomogram (OPG) radiograph of Libyan patients. Age and gender differences in relation to the position and shape of MF were also evaluated. Materials and Methods: Out of 200 digital OPGs studied by two examiners, 123 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Scanora Lite software (Palodex, Tuusula, Finland) program was used to measure the size of the MF as well as to determine its vertical and horizontal positions. The shape of the foramen was determined visually using the magnification tool of the software. Chi-square and t-test were applied. Results: The most common position of the MF was between first and second premolar, being closer to the second premolar for females and under the second premolar for males. The vertical location of the MF varied drastically with no statistical significant difference in both sides or between males and females. The difference in dimensions on the left and right sides was not statistically significant. The most common shape of MF was of the continuous type, and the tests showed significant difference with age and gender. Conclusion: The position and shape of MF is a crucial landmark for consideration of mental nerves and vessels when performing surgeries or administering anesthesia. The location of the MF on OPGs of Libyan patients regardless of gender is commonly below and between the mandibular premolar teeth closer to the second premolar, and the most common shape is a continuous type.

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