Anatomy and Variations of the Mental Foramen
The mental foramen (MF) is the exit of the mandibular canal and a critical structure for implant surgery, periodontal surgery, periapical surgery, and local anesthesia. The mental neurovascular bundles emerge from the mental foramen, and dentists have to avoid injuring these anatomical structures. Therefore, determining the position of the mental foramen can help to preclude iatrogenic complications during the aforementioned procedures. Several textbooks and scientific papers have described the normal anatomy of the mental foramen; however, there are many variations that must be noted for better clinical practice so that unnecessary complications can be avoided. In this chapter, the normal anatomy and the variations of the mental foramen are reviewed, and their clinical relevance is discussed.
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