Mental foramen is (MF) an important anatomical landmark that has clinical significance during dental treatments such as placing dental implants or endodontic treatment of mandibular premolars. The location and morphology of mental foramen varies among populations. The aim of this study is to determine the range of variations in the anatomical location and shape of mental foramen. This is a retrospective study conducted using panoramic radiographic (OPG) data of patients. A total of 498 panoramic radiographic images showing erupted lower premolars and first molars were included. All OPGs data were sorted in six study groups and analyzed statistically. The majority of cases (57 %) showed the presence of MF in line with the long axis of 2nd premolar. Only 3.2 % of MFs were in line with the long axis of first premolar. The shape of MF was round in majority (40 %) followed by oval shape (35.7 %). Irregular shape mental foramens were observed in 24.3 % of cases. The p value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. The anatomical location of mental foramen varies between first premolar to first molar. In terms of shape, the mental foramen ranged from round/oval to irregular. Although, the position and shape varied with age of the patient, there is no predictable correlation between the age and position or shape of mental foramen.
KEY WORDS: Mental foramen; Anatomy; Mandible; Morphology; Dental Implants.