Natural variations in the appearance and the positions of the mental foramen in a selected population of Karachi (Pakistan).
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the most common appearance, horizontal and vertical positions of the mental foramen (MF), using the panoramic radiographs in a selected population of Karachi (Pakistan). As this is relevant to consider prior to plan any maxillofacial surgical procedures in order to avoid nerve injuries. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Radiology Department of the Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad khan institute of oral health sciences (Dow University of Health Sciences). Period: 25th September to 5th November 2018. Material & Methods: Total 500 panoramic images were assessed. The study was divided in to the two group i.e. male and female adult patients in which the appearance, anterior-posterior positions and the superior-inferior positions of the MF was analyzed on the panoramic radiographs. Results: Total 500 OPG were accessed, the age ranges between 12 years to 73 years, 229 were male, 271 were females, and majority of MF were separated type (n=341, 68.2%) on right side and (n=373, 74.6%) on left side. And the most common superio-inferior position of the MF on both sides were position 2 (below the level of apices of 1st and 2nd premolar) on right side (n=387, 77.4%) and on left side (n=376, 75.2%), and the most common anterio-posterior position of the MF on both the right and left side is position 4 ( M.F lies in the line of 2nd premolars), on right side (n=269, 53.8%) and on left side (n=255, 51%). Conclusion: In this study the “separated type” was the most common type of appearance in both genders and the most frequent superio-inferior position of the MF is below the level of apices of 1st and 2nd premolar on both right and left sides. And the most common anterior-posterior position is within the line of longitudinal axis of 2nd premolar on both sides.