Background: Under local anesthesia when periapical and dental surgeries are performed or endodontic treat-ments are implemented in the mandible, it is essential to identify the mental foramen to prevent injuries. How-ever, accurately identifying mental foramen is usually difficult. Its position is usually described below the second premolar but the individual variation is widespread. The aim of the study was to assess the mental foramen position and mandibular canal in Saudi population by using the panoramic radiography.
Methodology: Standard panoramic radiographs were performed. This cross-sectional study was conducted at KKU Dental Clinic. The patients panoramic radiographs that were needed for different reasons were taken. The positions of 172 mental foramen were evaluated. The distances from the center of the mental foramen to the superior and inferior borders of the mandible and the apex of the second premolar were measured. The length of the mental foramen from the mandibular midline to the center of mental foramen was also measured.
Results: Among 172 patients, 62 patients (36%) were female (range: 1843 years) and 110 patients (64%) were male (range: 1955 years). 172 mental foramen positions were evaluated. Of the 62 female patients 48.4% (30) were positioned between the first and second premolars, 32.3% (20) patients were positioned under 2nd; and 110 male patients 54.5% (60) patients were positioned between the first and second premolars and 38.2% (42) patients were positioned under second premolar.
Conclusion: The mental foramen was near the second premolar and the inferior border of the mandible. This information may be used to perform safer mental nerve blocks in surgical interventions.
Key words: Mandible, panoramic radiography, mandible radiography, anatomical landmarks, mandibular nerve