Observation of retromolar canals on cone beam computed tomography

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the incidence and location of retromolar canal (RMC) in an eastern Chinese population using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images.

Methods

Six hundred and fifty-seven patients (276 males and 381 females, 19–49 years old) from east China were enrolled. Both right and left sides of the mandible were examined (n = 1314). Two-dimensional (2D) images of various planes in the mandibular ramus region and reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) images were reviewed. The course of the RMC and the location of the retromolar foramina (RMF) were observed.

Results

Retromolar canal (RMC) was observed in 25.9% (170/657) of patients and 15.7% of sides (206/1314). 20.4% patients had unilateral RMC (134/657) and 5.5% had bilaterally RMC (36/657). Most RMC are horizontally curved course (Type B, 45.6%), followed by vertically curved course (Type A, 44.2%). Type C RMC, which run independently from separate foramina in the mandibular ramus, were relatively rare (10.2%). The distance from the middle of the RMF to the distal end of the second molar ranged from 4.56 to 24.01 mm and the mean distance was 11.97 mm.

Conclusion

RMC is not a rare anatomical structure in the eastern Chinese population. CBCT should be applied as a diagnostic tool to provide detailed information involving the retromolar area.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD, 2018–87). The Project of Invigorating Health Care through Science, Technology and Education (Jiangsu Provincial Medical Youth Talent QNRC2016852), Jiangsu Provincial Medical Innovation Team (CXTDA2017036) and sponsored by Qing Lan Project.

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Correspondence to Ruixia Wang or Hua Yuan.

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Hou, Y., Feng, G., Lin, W. et al. Observation of retromolar canals on cone beam computed tomography. Oral Radiol 36, 365–370 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11282-019-00414-0

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Keywords

  • Cone beam CT(CBCT)
  • Retromolar canal (RMC)
  • Retromolar foramina (RMF)
  • Incidence
  • Oral surgery