The Mental Foramen: Part III. Size and Position on Panoramic Radiographs

By Phillips JL, Weller RN, Kulild JC.

Date: 12/1992
Journal: JOE


Purpose:  to determine the size and position of the mental foramina on panoramic radiographs. Factors affecting the radiographic position were also determined. 

•N=  Panoramic radiographs were exposed on 75 dry mandibles.


– 2 SS markers were used.

1.Each mandible was placed on the chin rest of the machine with the occlusal plane parallel to the floor. A rubber band over the bite fork held the mandible in the proper position. 

2.Two radiographs were exposed for each mandible, with  and without the wire markers .

Most highlighted Results: 

-Both the left and right mental foramen were seen on all 75 panoramic radiographs.  

-Size: The mental foramen on panographic radiographs was slightly larger than reported on periapical radiographs. 

–    H= 2.9, V= 2.5, no significant difference in size on the left or right side. 

Clinical significance:   

• Visualization of the mental foramen is increased when a panoramic radiograph is available for examination, magnification of the mandibles on the radiographs may account for the improved visualization of the foramina.