Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clarify the branching patterns of the mental nerve (MN) and intraosseous courses of the MN branches, and to determine the clinical relevance of the various courses of the MN branches. Materials and Methods: We investigated the topography of the MN by dissecting 31 hemifaces of Korean cadavers. Based on the distribution area of the MN, it was divided into angular (A), medial inferior labial (ILm), lateral inferior labial (ILl), and mental (M) branches. We classified the branching patterns of the 4 branches of the MN into 5 types. Results: Type II, in which the MN divided into 3 branches (A, ILm, and M), with the ILl branch separating from the A branch, was the most common (35.4%). The MN was classified based on the shape of the anterior loop into loop, straight, and vertical patterns, which constituted 61.5%, 23.1%, and 15.4%, respectively. In the mandibular canal, the inferior alveolar nerve completely divided into the MN and the dental nerve, which supplies the teeth. In 17 cases (81%), the nerve bundles constituting the A branch were located at the superior aspect, whereas the nerve bundles of the inferior labial and mental branches were in the middle and inferior aspects within the mandibular canal, respectively, at the mental foramen region. Conclusion: These observations can help clinicians to predict the location or extent of paresthesia in the facial region according to the location and extent of nerve damage during dental implant surgery or genioplasty.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Yonsei University College of Dentistry (Grant no. 6-2006-0011)
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery