On several studies, there has been described foramina located in the inner face of the anterior mandible, whether on dry bone, conventional radiography and cone beam CT (CBCT). The aim of this study was compare the presence, position and anatomical characteristics of foramina and lingual canals found in CBCT of Chilean mandibles, with the results of the same sample studied with direct vision in dry bone. We studied 68 mandibles from the morphology unit of Universidad de los Andes. The number of teeth, foramina related to mental spines, position, area and length of each canal were evaluated, in dry bone and CBCT from the same sample. Presence of lingual foramen was found in 100 % of CBCT and 97 % of direct observation in bone. There were 150 foramina in dry bone and 170 foramina in CBCT. The greatest amount was found superior (bone: 55; CBCT: 61) and inferior (bone: 66; CBCT: 92) to the mental spines. . The reliability was not as expected, with a kappa for the number of upper foramina of 0.43, an intraclass correlation for the number of lower foramen of 0.31. The upper foramen area had an intraclass correlation of 0,059 and an inferior correlation of 0.144 while, the length of the superior canals, had a 0.5 and inferior 0.246 of intraclass correlation. A trend was observed for higher diameters and canal lengths in the measurements performed with CBCT compared to the measurements in dry bone. Taking into account the high prevalence of these foramina, it is advisable prior to any surgery in the anterior mandible, the prior study using CBCT. In addition to maintaining a margin of safety with respect to lingual foramina.
KEY WORDS: Lingual foramina; Lingual canal; Cone beam CT; CBCT.