Position of the Mental Foramen in a Korean Population: A Clinical and Radiographic Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to improve the treatment methods for the mental foramen by comparing the directly measured values with the radiographic measured values.

Materials and Methods:

One hundred and twelve mental foramina (72 males, 40 females) that were exposed during the operation were examined. The patients’ age ranged from 12 to 69 years, with a mean age of 41.8 years. All patients had fully erupted lower premolars. The horizontal and vertical locations were evaluated with both direct and radiographic measurements.

Results:

In 72 patients (64.3%), the mental foramen was below the second premolar. In 26.8%, it was between the first and second premolar, and in 8.9%, it was below the first premolar. By radiographic readings,most of the mental foramina were found to be below the second premolar (62.5%). The average distance between the cusp tip and the superior border of the mental foramen by direct measurement was 23.42 mm and 25.69 mm in the panoramic view. The mean distance between the superior border of the mental foramen and the bottom of the mandible was 14.33 mm by direct measurement and 16.52 mm by radiographic measurements.

Conclusion:

It is important to know the position of the mental foramen for the placement of osseointegrated implants in the mandibular premolar region. The position of the mental foramen of Koreans is closer to the cusp tips of lower premolars than Westerners.

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