Presence and Morphometry of Foramina and Canals in Relation to Mental Spines

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Reinaldo Soto; Felipe Cáceres & Roberto García


Surgical procedures developed in the anterior mandibular body, such as the installation of osseointegrated implants, genioplasties, lingual edge insights, fractures, etc. may produce mayor complications when these invade vascular structures, with consequent bleeding and sublingual hematoma formation. Within these anatomical elements we find foramina and canals that are located in relation to the mental spine. The objective of this study was to quantify the location, diameter and length of the foramina and canals present superior, inferior and between the upper and lower mental spine in 71 dry mandibles from the Morphology Unit, Universidad de los Andes, which were photographed. Analyzing the pictures with Photoshop ® Cs 3 extended program, the diameter and length of the foramina and canals were measured in pixels and then transformed into mm. 97% of the jaws observed had at least one foramen, 45% had two and 31% three. In relation to location 82% of the mandibles showed foramina in the bones superior and inferior 76%. The average diameter was 0.73 mm for superior placement and 0.71 mm for inferior placement. The average length of the superior canals was 6.77 mm and 5.5 mm for those inferior to the mental spine. Due to the high prevalence of foramina and canals in our sample its recommended to keep always in mind when planning surgical procedures that involve either medium mandibular lingual flank as the mandibular body at the symphysis area.

KEY WORDS: Lingual canal; Mental spine.

How to cite this article

SOTO, R.; CÁCERES, F. & GARCÍA, R. Presence and morphometry of foramina and canals in relation to mental spines. Int. J. Morphol., 30(2):417-421, 2012.