Cone-Beam CT Assessment of the Position of the Medial Lingual Foramen for Dental Implant Placement in the Anterior Symphysis

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Objectives:To determine the position of the mandibular medial lingual foramen with cone-beam CT (CBCT) 3D imaging modalities when implants are to be placed in the anterior symphysis of the mandible.Materials and Methods:A total of 111 CBCTs were considered acceptable and analyzed. The variables measured were as follows: (1) length of the outlet duct; (2) distance from the canal to the buccal cortex; (3) distance from the canal to the inferior cortex; (4) distance from the canal to the lingual cortex; (5) distance from the canal to the alveoli of the nearest tooth in dentate patients and distance from the canal to the marginal crest in edentulous patients; (6) angle of the duct to the horizontal Frankfurt plane; (7) diameter of the exit orifice; and (8) output level of the socket in relation to the teeth and the presence of bifurcations.Results:A single canal was observed in 64% of patients; 2 canals were observed in 33% of patients; and a triple foramen was observed in 3% of patients. Women showed slightly lower values than men for each of the analyzed variables, with statistically significant differences in the length of the canal in edentulous (P = 0.029) and dentate patients (P = 0.027).Conclusion:The medial lingual foramen should be considered while performing presurgical planning. Careful attention is needed while setting the placement position of the dental implant to decrease the risk of complications.

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