, Volume 22, Issue 3-4, pp 157-161

Anatomic and radiologic course of the mandibular incisive canal

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The purpose of this article was to define the anatomic and radiographic courses of the incisive mandibular canal and discuss its clinical significance. The study group comprised of 46 hemimandibles fixed in formalin. After radiographic examination, the buccal cortical plate of the mandible was removed leaving the bony frame of the incisive bundle intact. The morphology of the bony walls of the canal was evaluated, as having complete, partial, or no cortical walls. The course of the intraosseous pathway of the canal and its diameter in four different locations were recorded. An incisive bundle was anatomically found in all hemimandibles, travelling within a canal with complete (n = 10), partial (n = 27), or no (n = 9) bony cortical borders. The diameter of the canal ranged from 0.48 mm to 2.9 mm. Radiographically, the canal was either well defined (n = 11, 24%), poorly defined (n = 15, 32%), or undetectable (n = 20, 44%). A statistically significant correlation was found between the anatomic structure of the incisive canal bony borders and its radiographic detectability (p = 0.043). No correlation was found between the anatomic and radiological width of the incisive canal diameter. An incisive canal with a large diameter could have an important role in successful osteointegration and prevention of postoperative sensory disturbances. According to the present study, the ability to interpret the incisive canal from conventional radiographs is limited. Therefore, it is recommended to use conventional tomographs or computerised tomographic dental scans for better imaging of the intermental foraminal area.