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Cone beam CT findings of retromolar canals in a Korean population

 Sang-Sun Han  ;  Young-Sun Hwang 
 SURGICAL AND RADIOLOGIC ANATOMY, Vol.36(9) : 871-876, 2014 
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Adolescent ; Adult ; Aged ; Cone-Beam Computed Tomography* ; Female ; Humans ; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted ; Imaging, Three-Dimensional ; Male ; Mandible/anatomy & histology ; Mandible/diagnostic imaging* ; Middle Aged ; Molar/diagnostic imaging ; Radiography, Panoramic ; Republic of Korea ; Young Adult
PURPOSE: The identification of the variation involving the mandibular canal is important during surgical procedures in the mandible. This study aims to investigate the incidence, course, width, and location of retromolar canals in a Korean population using cone beam CT. METHODS: The cross-sectional, sagittal, and three dimensional images from volumetric cone beam CT data of 446 patients were reconstructed using imaging analysis software for the presence of a retromolar canal. Retromolar canals were classified into three types according to the courses. The width and location (distance from the second molar) of retromolar canals were evaluated. RESULTS: A retromolar canal was observed in 8.5 % of patients (38/446). Most retromolar canals had vertically curved courses (Type 1, 66.7 %), followed by horizontally curved courses (Type 2, 20 %). Type 3 retromolar canals, which run independently from separate foramina in the mandibular ramus, were rare (13.3 %). The mean width of a retromolar canal was 1.13 mm (SD ± 0.38, 0.60-2.00), and the mean distance to the second molar was 14.08 mm (SD ± 3.85, 8.50-24.00). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of retromolar canals in the Korean population was lower than that reported in the investigated ethnic groups. In the presence of a retromolar canal, local anesthesia may be ineffective. The damage to a retromolar canal may be unavoidable during surgical procedures involving the mandible and may result in paresthesia, excessive bleeding, postoperative hematoma, or traumatic neuroma.
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2. College of Dentistry (치과대학) > Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (영상치의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Han, Sang Sun(한상선) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1775-7862
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