Mental foramen is an important anatomical landmark in mandible. Injury to mental nerve may have a major impact on the patient’s quality of life. Accurate identification of the mental foramen is important for diagnostic and treatment procedures. Mental foramen position is varied in different ethnic groups, which having different craniofacial structures. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the most common position of mental foramen in dental hospital patients, Naresuan University and compare the results with those reported for other populations. Four hundred and sixty-nine digital panoramic radiographs which were selected by using specific criteria and assessed for horizontal and vertical positions of mental foramen. Appropriate descriptive statistics were computed. Statistical significance is defined as p < 0.05. The subjects in the present study composed of 153 males and 316 females with mean age of 21.97± 5.54 and 21.52 ± 6.67 years, respectively. The most common horizontal position was found significantly in line with second premolar (50.53%). The most common vertical position was found significantly apical to the apex of dental root (73.46%). The mental foramen was symmetrical in 77.19 and 87.85 percent of patients for horizontal and vertical locations, respectively. According to the present study, the position of mental foramen in a group of Thai population was most commonly in the long axis of second premolar, consistent with previous reported in other ethnic and racial groups. In most cases there was bilateral symmetry in both horizontal and vertical positions.
Keywords: mental foramen, panoramic radiograph, Thai
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