The mental foramen: part II Radiographic Position in Relation to Mandibular Second Premolar.

By Phillips JL, Weller RN, Kulild JC.

Date: 06/1992
Journal: JOE


Purpose:  to determine the position & size of the mental foramen on periapical radiographs using paralleling technique and to examine possible factors influencing its visualization.

•N=  75 dry, adult, human mandibles were obtained from an anatomy collection. (age, sex, race were unknown)


1.PA radiographs were exposed for each mental foramen using a paralleling technique. The vertical angulation of the X-ray machine was 0 degrees. 2.Two stainless steel wire markers were placed on each side of the mandible. Figure

3.4 RGs of each mental foramen were made. (One film placed in standard horizontal position & one placed in a vertical position w\wo wires).

4.Each set of radiographs viewed on a lighted radiographic view box and each of 2nd premolars were outlined on orthodontic tracing paper.

5.Size , Horizontal Position , Vertical Position  of mental foramen were recorded.

Most highlighted Results: 

•The mental foramen was visualized on 75% of the horizontal radiographs. •There was no significant difference in size between the right and left sides. •The average distance from the radiographic apex of the second premolar to the center of the foramen was 2.2 mm mesially and 2.4mm inferiorly. •The average radiographic size of the mental foramen: 2.6mm x 2.3mm

Clinical significance: 

  • Vertical releasing incisions should be done meticulously around the mand. 2nd premolar to avoid mental nerve damage.