Investigation into intraoral approach for nerve block injection at the mental foramen in the horse Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 EVJ Ltd Invasive dental procedures performed in the standing, sedated horse are facilitated by local and regional anaesthesia. The traditional transcutaneous approach to the mental foramen is used to desensitise the incisive region including the mandibular incisors, but is not well tolerated by many sedated patients. In this study, a new, intraoral needle insertion technique for nerve block at the mental foramen was investigated. In 15 equine cadaver heads and two live horses, computed tomography (CT) was used to verify Tuohy needle placement into each mental foramen using an intraoral technique. Varying volumes of contrast medium (3, 6, 10mL) were injected into the mandibular canal with and without digital occlusion of the mental foramen. The distance of retrograde flow was measured. Additionally, measurements were taken to determine the position of the mental foramen within the interdental space. Correct placement of Tuohy needles and injection of contrast medium into the mandibular canal using an intraoral approach at the mental foramen was achieved in all injections. Retrograde flow of contrast medium was accomplished with all volumes, regardless of occlusion. Although not statistically significant, the 10mL group appeared to have a greater distance of flow. The needle insertion technique described here appears to be a potential alternative to traditional transcutaneous approaches to mental nerve block for procedures involving the incisive region. In addition, it was found that 79% of the mandibular canals injected with 10mL of contrast medium had retrograde flow to the position of PM4, suggesting this method may be a useful alternative technique for nerve block for the more rostrally located cheek teeth. The location of the mental foramen was consistently found in the distal third of the interdental space (approximately 6080% of the distance between the distal aspect of the lateral corner incisor and the mesial aspect of the second premolar).

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Eckert, R. E., Griffin, C. E., Cohen, N. D., & Marx, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Eckert, RE||Griffin, CE||Cohen, ND||Marx, S

publication date

  • June 2019