Anatomy Monday: Mental foramen (mandible) 4

Sorry to be gone for such a long hiatus. I’ve been working on a side project that has taken much more time than expected. If all goes well I’ll be posting in a few months the outcome of that project. Now onto some anatomy. 🙂

The mental foramen is most commonly seen near the apex of the mandibular second premolar. It may be visible anteriorly to the first premolar and posteriorly to the first molar.  It presents as a radiolucent round to ovoid entity. When it is superimposed over the apex of a tooth it is important to look at the periodontal ligament space and lamina dura of the tooth to determine a pathosis of tooth origin versus the mental foramen.

periapical radiograph mental foramenPeriapical radiograph showing mental foramen as well-defined, ovoid radiolucent area apical to second premolar.

pantomograph mental foramen Pantomograph showing right mental foramen as well-defined, ovoid radiolucent area apical to mandibular premolars.

CBCT mental foramenCone Beam CT cross-sectional slice showing opening of mental foramen as a discontinuity of the facial cortical plate.  Mandibular canal noted by red circle.

If you have any questions or would like to see other examples, please let me know and I’ll see what I can. Thanks and enjoy!


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