Configuration of the inferior alveolar canal as detected by cone beam computed tomography. Academic Article uri icon


  • AIMS: The aim of this study is to evaluate the course of the inferior alveolar canal (IAC) including its frequently seen variations in relation to root apices and the cortices of the mandible at fixed pre-determined anatomic reference points using cone beam volumetric computed tomography (CBVCT). MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective study utilized CBVCT images from 44 patients to obtain quantifiable data to localize the IAC. Measurements to the IAC were made from the buccal and lingual cortical plates (BCP/LCP), inferior border of the mandible and the root apices of the mandibular posterior teeth and canine. Descriptive analysis was used to map out the course of the IAC. RESULTS: IACs were noted to course superiorly toward the root apices from the second molar to the first premolar and closer to the buccal cortical plate anteriorly. The canal was closest to the LCP at the level of the second molar. In 32.95% of the cases, the canal was seen at the level of the canine. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that caution needs to be exercised during endodontic surgical procedures in the mandible even at the level of the canine. CBVCT seems to provide an optimal, low-dose, 3D imaging modality to help address the complexities in canal configuration.

published proceedings

  • J Conserv Dent

author list (cited authors)

  • Nair, U. P., Yazdi, M. H., Nayar, G. M., Parry, H., Katkar, R. A., & Nair, M. K.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Nair, Umadevi P||Yazdi, Mehran H||Nayar, Gautam M||Parry, Heath||Katkar, Rujuta A||Nair, Madhu K

publication date

  • November 2013