The mandibular foramen, located on the internal surface of the mandibular ramus, is an important anatomical landmark for the success during the inferior alveolar nerve block. This cross-sectional retrospective study aimed to evaluate the location of the mandibular foramen through Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) in different facial shapes.

Materials and Methods:

The determination of the location of the mandibular foramen was performed using CBCT of mesocephalic, dolichocephalic and brachycephalic patients (n=40 each). The ramus width (W), the distance from the mandibular foramen to the deepest point of the anterior border of the mandibular ramus (D), the distance from the mandibular foramen to the lowest point of the mandibular notch (V) and the distance from the inferior border of the mandible to the lowest point in of the mandibular border (R), as well as the ratios W/D and V/R, were measured. ANCOVA, two-way ANOVA and Chi-square tests were used to analyze the variation among the facial shapes.


The ramus width (W) was greater (p<0.0001) in the brachycephalic (28.4±0.5 mm) than in both mesocephalic (26.8±0.36 mm) and dolichocephalic (25.5±0.39 mm) patients. D (p=0.0433) and R (p=0.0072) were also greater in the brachycephalic (17.7±0.36 mm; 43.4±0.75 mm, respectively) than dolichocephalic (16.5±0.3 mm; 40.3±0.63 mm, respectively), but both did not differ from mesocephalic (17.3±0.36 mm; 41.8±0.66 mm, respectively) patients. The other measurements (V, W/D and R/V) did not significantly differ among facial shapes.


The localization of the mandibular foramen was, in the horizontal direction, more posterior in the brachycephalic patients and, in the vertical direction, higher in the dolichocephalic patients, when compared to the other groups analyzed. Thus, the anatomic data found in this study may help dentists to increase the success of the inferior alveolar nerve block and prevent surgical complications.

Keywords: Mandibular foramen, CBCT, Facial shape, Anatomy, Brachycephalic patients, Dolichocephalic patients,.
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