Position of the mental foramen in a North American, white population

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This study identified the position of the mental foramen in a more representative sample of the North American population. Ethnic and gender differences were also investigated and the symmetry of location within individuals analyzed.

Study design.

Regional dissections of 105 human cadavers were carried out to identify the normal range of position of the mental foramen. The vertical and horizontal position was recorded with the two adjacent teeth used as references. If the two adjacent teeth were not present the foramen was not included in the study.


The results indicated that the mental foramen was, on average, between the premolars, therefore not statistically different from previous studies. However, there appears to be a greater range than generally reported, which is of considerable clinical significance. Examples of dissections of unusually positioned mental foramina are given.

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