Finding the mental foramen

Surg Radiol Anat. 2016 May;38(4):469-76. doi: 10.1007/s00276-015-1565-x. Epub 2015 Oct 13.


The mental foramen and mental nerve are clinically important landmarks for clinicians across various disciplines including dentists, oral maxillofacial surgeons, emergency physicians and plastic and reconstructive surgeons. To minimize complications related to procedures in the vicinity of the mental foramen and nerve, knowledge of its anatomy and anatomical variations is cardinal to concerned clinicians. In this review, basic anatomy, procedural complications, hard and soft tissue relations, variations between population groups, asymmetry, accessory mental foramina and the use of various radiological modalities to determine the position of the mental foramen are reviewed to provide a more thorough understanding of this important landmark.

Keywords: CT scan; Landmark; MRI; Mental foramen; X-ray.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anatomic Variation
  • Humans
  • Mandible / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandible / innervation*
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonography