Anatomy Monday: Mandibular Canal

This week and month is going to be canals and ducts visible on intraoral and extraoral radiographs. I’m starting with a canal frequently sought out specifically for implants and extractions; the mandibular canal.  The mandibular canal is visible on both intraoral radiographs and extraoral radiographs. It presents as a radiolucent band with thin radiopaque borders.  The mandibular canal will not be visible on every patient due to variations in bone trabeculation.  Sometimes only one border of the canal is visible.  If you see only one border, beware that it is more commonly the inferior border indicating the nerve is superior to this line.

mandibular canal with arrows periapical radiograph mandibular canal pantomographIf you have any questions or comments about the mandibular canal or its appearance on radiographs, please leave them below. Thanks and enjoy!