Evaluation of Perimandibular Neurovascularization With Accessory Mental Foramina Using Cone-Beam Computed Tomography in Children

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Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to clarify the perimandibular neurovascularization with mandibular accessory mental foramina in a children population using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) to avoid complications during anesthetic and surgical procedures.

Methods

This retrospective study evaluated cone-beam CT images for bifid mandibular canals in the mandibles of 63 children (35 girls, 28 boys; age range, 7–16 years; mean age, 12.3 years). Both right and left sides were examined from CT images (n = 126), including axial, sagittal, cross-sectional, and panoramic views as well as reconstructed three-dimensional images, as necessary. The course, length, and superior and inferior angles between canals were classified and measured.

Results

Bifid mandibular canals were observed in 34 (27%) of the 126 sides examined. The most frequently encountered type of bifid canal was the retromolar canal (11.1%), followed by the forward (7.14%), buccolingual (6.35%), and dental canal (2.4%). Mean lengths of bifid canals were 10.2 mm on the right side and 10.6 mm on the left side. Mean superior angles were 131 degrees on the right side and 147 degrees on the left side, whereas mean inferior angles were 47 degrees on the right side and 34 degrees on the left side. No statistically significant differences were found in the lengths or angles between the right and left sides or between boys and girls (P < 0.05). The most common position for the mental foramen was between the first and second premolars, and an accessory mental foramen was observed in 4 children (6.34%).

Conclusions

This study utilized CBCT images to identify bifid mandibular canals and accessory mental foramina in children. Cone-beam CT was found to be a useful technique for detecting secondary canals. However, despite the fact that CBCT uses less ionizing radiation than other types of three-dimensional imaging, unless the diagnostic information provided through CBCT improves treatment results, CBCT should not be recommended for use in children or adolescents.

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