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Objective: Lingual canals and their foramina are one of the concerned structures that should be carefully evaluated prior to the procedure of implant placement. This retrospective study aimed to determine their prevalence in a group of Thai people and their characteristics by using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).
Materials and Methods: A total of 240 patients who had received CBCT in the mandible at the Faculty of Dentistry, Mahidol University, from January 2012 to July 2021 were studied. Lingual canals and their foramina were classified by their location into two groups. The foramen located in the center of symphysis is the median lingual foramen (MLF), which its canal called the median lingual canal (MLC). The other located laterally from the midline is the lateral lingual foramen (LLF), which its canal called the lateral lingual canal (LLC). The number, location, and distance related to the alveolar crest of MLF and LLF were recorded. The courses of MLC and LLC were also analyzed. A Chi-square test was used to compare the prevalence between groups.
Results: The study showed that each patient had at least one lingual canal and its foramen. The prevalence was 100% in MLC&MLF and 91.7% in LLC&LLF. The location of MLF was commonly superior position followed by inferior position. The course of MLC was commonly anteroinferior, anterosuperior, and horizontal, respectively. The LLF was most common in the premolar areas and its LLC course was usually anterior direction. The overall mean distance from the top border of lingual foramina to the highest point of the alveolar crest was 23.64±5.17 mm.
Conclusion: This study revealed that LLC and LLF are common anatomical structures that could be detected from CBCT. As far as mandibular implant placement procedure is concerned, operators should bear in mind LLC&LLF in the premolar areas.
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