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J Prosthodont. 2007 Nov-Dec;16(6):502-6. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Retromolar ridge in edentulous patients: clinical considerations.

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Department of Oral Rehabilitation, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University, Hadassah and Dental Services, Yad Sarah, Jerusalem, Israel.



A removable denture base should cover the mandibular retromolar regions to provide proper basal seal and denture function in edentulous patients. The bony residual ridge form, attached muscles, and covering mucosa provide support, stability, and retention of the planned prosthesis. There is insufficient information regarding bone anatomy, mucosal tissues, and muscles in the retromolar region after tooth loss. The purpose of this study was to examine the tissue morphology in the mandibular retromolar area of edentulous subjects and report on the clinical inferences in prosthetic and implant dentistry.


Specimens included 75 edentulous and eight dentate dry mandibles examined by macroscopic observations and linear measurements for size determinants in the left and right retromolar regions. Buccolingual histological sections of the mandibular retromolar region from seven edentulous subjects were also examined. The specimens were from the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University.


The specimens evaluated in this study revealed that a bony retromolar ridge can be large, with adjacent muscles attached several millimeters below its edentulous bone crest, or small, with muscles attached to the buccal and lingual bone crests. In all examined jaws, bony mylohyoid ridges (MR) and buccal shelves with affixed muscle fibers were present regardless of the remaining mandibular bone form and size.


The mylohyoid muscles attached to MRs and the buccinator muscles affixed to buccal bony shelves are some of the barriers to the chronic but limited bone resorption, following tooth loss, time of edentulism, systemic factors, and denture wear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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