context: This retrospective study was conducted in the Department of Centre for Advanced Imaging, I.T.S. Dental College. The sampling method was consecutive and the sample size of 100 CBCT scans were included in which 50 scans were of male patients and 50 of female patients. Scans covering mandibular anterior region for preoperative implant placement planning were included. Scans of the patients within the age group of 20-60 years and those who were referred to the department for mandibular anterior region scan and scans done using the same acquisition parameters were included in the study. Different observations were assessed on multiple sections and the section which had greatest dimensions was selected for variables measurement. The effect of patient age and gender on the dimensional measurements of the various anatomical landmark were accessed. aim: To assess the anatomical variations and locations of lingual foramen and its bony canals by using CBCT in relation to age and gender. materials and method: Through CBCT examinations, 100 patients were carefully examined in the median region of the mandible in order to detect the lingual foramen and their corresponding vascular canals. Their presence, number, position, diameter, morphology and trajectory were established. We also evaluated the effect of patients’ age and gender on the dimensional measurements of the anatomical landmark mentioned above. statistical analysis: The statistical analysis was done using statistical software SPSS version 16.0. comparison of the means of various parameters for categorical and numerical data was done by chi-square and unpaired t test. Inter- observer agreement was assessed with Cohen’s kappa test and interclass correlation. results: All of the 100 CBCT scans taken showed the presence of lingual foramen. Of all the participants, 52% of them had two foramina in their images whereas 43% have single foramen and remaining 5% have three foramina. The most common trajectory was downward in 61% of the cases. The mean diameter of lingual foramen canal at buccal end in male and female was 0.42 mm and 0.37mm respectively, average diameter at lingual end in male and female was 0.60 mm and 0.54mm respectively. conclusions:As the variations were shown in lingual foramen characteristics, is mandatory to be aware of the structures present in anterior mandible to prevent the surgical complications. CBCT appears to be an ideal imaging modality to assess these variations that must be taken into consideration prior to treatment planning. There was also an age and gender related significant difference in the diameter of canal. So, the morphology of lingual foramen and it canals can be used to evaluate the age and gender of an individual which can open a new vista in the field of forensics. key message: CBCT assessment of morphological features of the alveolar bone and locations of nerve canals and foramina in the anterior region of mandible represent useful anatomical information about the inter-foraminal region. This information is a useful guide to the dentist before surgery and also lingual foramen have some morphological variations compared to male and female. This study should be done on larger population in future which can open new vistas in the field of forensics.
: Manu Dhillon