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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Detection of anterior loop and other patterns of entry of mental nerve into the mental foramen: A radiographic study in panoramic images

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, D.A. Pandu Memorial R.V. Dental College, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Inderprastha Dental College, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Aastha Manchanda
G-40, Pushkar Enclave, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi - 110 063
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-6781.111678

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Purpose: The pattern of entry of mental nerve into the mental foramen after its emergence from the inferior alveolar nerve bundle is an important presurgical landmark in the mandibular premolar region. Various patterns of entry of mental nerve have been identified. As panoramic radiographs are routinely used in presurgical evaluation, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the various entry patterns of mental nerve into the mental foramen. Materials and Methods: Total 300 panoramic radiographs taken for routine diagnostic purposes were selected for the study. The radiographs were assessed independently by two observers and the position and the entry pattern of the mental nerve on the left and right side were recorded. The entry patterns recorded were categorized as straight, looping, or perpendicular. Results: The study revealed that the most common pattern of entry of mental nerve was a straight one accounting for a total of 79% on at least one side of the total radiographs examined, followed by the presence of an anterior loop on at least one side in 21% and perpendicular pattern on at least one side in 6% of the total radiographs examined. Conclusion: Panoramic radiography may not be a very reliable imaging modality for identifying the presence of anterior loop which needs to be determined for preoperative planning of surgical procedures in the mandibular premolar region. Other modalities, such as cone beam CT, can be used for better visualization of the area.

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