Background: The mandibular incisive canal (MIC) is an anatomic structure to be considered in treatment planning for surgeries in the anterior region of the mandible. Awareness of the MIC increased with the use of 3D imaging for treatment planning, such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). This study aimed to use CBCT to assess the prevalence, morphology and position of the MIC among North-Brazilians.
Material and Methods: The sample consisted of CBCT scans of 100 hemi-mandibles (50 individuals) that were assessed for the absolute (n) and relative frequency of the MIC. The morphological component of this study was the diameter (mm) of the detected MIC in five anatomic sites between the mental foramen and the midline. Within the interformainal region, the position of the MIC was assessed by measuring (mm) the distances between the MIC and the basal, vestibular and lingual cortical bone surfaces.
Results: The prevalence of the MIC was >76% considering the different anatomic regions screened in CBCT. The mean diameter of the MIC progressively reduced from 1.29 mm to 0.86 throughout the five anatomic regions measured. The position of the MIC showed a downward trajectory away from the lingual cortical bone surface.
Conclusions: MIC was a highly prevalent anatomic structure in the studied sample. The funnel-shaped outline of the MIC and its trajectory into the interforaminal region highlighted a major risk of damage to the neurovascular bundle in surgeries (e.g. implant placement) that are close to the mental foramen and the vestibular cortical bone.
- Cone beam computed tomography
- Mandibular incisive canal
- Oral radiology