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J Oral Sci. 2003 Sep;45(3):171-5.

The location of the mental foramen in a selected Malay population.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Knowledge of the position of the mental foramen is important both when administering regional anesthesia and performing periapical surgery in the mental region of the mandible. This study determines the position of the mental foramen in a selected Malay population. One hundred and sixty nine panoramic radiographs of Malay patients retrieved from a minor oral surgery waiting list were selected to identify the normal range for the position of the mental foramen. The foramen was not included in the study if there was any mandibular tooth missing between the lower left and right first molars (36-46). The findings indicated the most common position for the mental foramen was in line with the longitudinal axis of the second premolar (69.2%) followed by a location between the first and second premolar (19.6%). The right and left foramina were bilaterally symmetrical in three of six recorded positions in 67.7% patients. The mental foramen was most often in line with the second premolar.

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