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Backgrounds: The mental nerve is one of the important inferior alveolar nerve block, were to find the existence the mental foramen, anterior loop of mental foramen and dimensional distortion of radiography. The purpose was to determine the size distortion versus the presence of mental foramen with anterior loop of mental nerve by panoramic radiography and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT).
Materials and methods: Eighty volunteers of the radiographs of the mental and accessory mental foramina as well as their anterior loop were examined. The diameters of mental foramen, distance of upper border of mental foramen to the second premolar root, distance of lower border of mental foramen to inferior border of mandible and distance of anterior border of mental foramen to anterior border of anterior loop, were measured. Paired t test (P<0.05) for comparing between the distances obtained from both imaging modalities.
Results: The mental foramen, the accessory mental foramina and the anterior loop of mental foramen were exhibited in 90%, 1.38%, 65.27% in panoramic radiograph, and was shown 100%, 3.75%, 88.75% respectively, in CBCT. All measurements obtained from panoramic technique were significantly lesser than from CBCT except, distance from upper border of mental foramen to the second premolar root in panoramic radiograph was significantly greater than CBCT.
Conclusion: It was worthy for local anesthetic injection to note that three observed anatomical structures were more difficult to identify in panoramic radiograph than CBCT. Additionally, the panoramic technique expressed more dimensional distortion in linear measurement than CBCT.
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