Assessment of the Visibility and Characteristics of the Mandibular Incisive Canal: Cone Beam Computed Tomography Versus Panoramic Radiography
Halil Sahman, DDS, PhD/Ahmet Ercan Sekerci, DDS, PhD/Yildiray Sisman, DDS, PhD/Mehtap Payveren
Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess and compare the visibility, diameter, and course of the mandibular incisive canal (MIC) using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and panoramic radiography. Materials and Methods: CBCT images and panoramic radiographs from 243 patients were used in this study. Standard exposure and patient positioning protocols were used for all the patients. Both types of images were assessed by two dentomaxillofacial radiologists. The diameter and the endpoint level of the MIC were measured using the CBCT images. Statistical analysis was performed using t tests in statistical software. Results: Of the 486 hemimandibles examined, the MIC was visible in 249 (51.2%) radiographs and 459 (94.4%) CBCT images. The mean diameters of the MICs were 1.91 ± 0.45 mm on the right side and 1.94 ± 0.41 mm on the left side. The MICs on both the right and left sides of the mandible showed statistically significant differences in diameter in male versus female patients. The visibility of the MIC on the panoramic radiographs according to the increase in the diameter was not statistically significant for both sides. Twenty MICs reached to the midline of the mandible, and the majority of the MICs (n = 114) terminated between the canine and the first premolar. Conclusion: The visibility of the MIC in CBCT is much better than that observed in conventional panoramic radiography. Even some large MICs could not be observed in panoramic radiographs. Detection of the MIC using CBCT may be crucial for surgical procedures involving the interforaminal region.