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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-91

A radiographic study of the anterior loop and mental foramen in a selected North Indian population

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ravi Prakash Sasankoti Mohan
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
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DOI: 10.4103/1115-3474.155744

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Background: The mental foramen is an important anatomical landmark and the possibility of the presence of the anterior loop mesial to the foramina is imperative to the dentist while performing various surgical procedures. Objective: To retrospectively visualize the anterior loop of the mental nerve in the panoramic radiographs. Methodology: Five hundred digital panoramic radiographs of patients who reported to Subharti Dental College, Meerut, taken between 2011 and 2013, were obtained from the Easy Dent Software. Results: At least one anterior loop was visualized in 73 (19%) radiographs out of 384 radiographs. The horizontal position of the mental foramen in relation to the lower teeth was most commonly below the apex of second premolar teeth (P4) on right side in 24.73% of radiographs while on left side was present in 29.4%. The most common radiographic appearance to be identified was the separated type (C2) which was found to be 14.06% and 17.70% on right and left side respectively. Conclusion: The anatomical landmark of the mental foramen is of paramount importance. The clinicians need to pin-point its location before the placement of implants in the foraminal region. Panoramic radiographs can be resourceful with its explicit depiction and confirmation of the presence of the anterior loop of the mental nerve. Injury to the mental nerve during implant placement can be avoided by identifying this anatomical landmark using advanced imaging modality and the surgical verification.

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