Anatomical topography of the mandibular symphysis in the Korean population: a computed tomography analysis.
OBJECTIVES Altered pulp sensitivity of anterior lower teeth is a frequent finding following chin bone harvesting. Persistent loss of tooth sensitivity has been reported in up to 20% of the patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate current recommendations for the location of the harvest zone with respect to the course of the mandibular incisive canal (MIC), the intrabony continuation of the mandibular canal mesial to the mental foramen. MATERIAL AND METHODS On computed tomographic (CT) scans of 50 dentate mandibles, the MIC was located and its distance to the root apices, to the labial bony surface, and to the inferior margin of the mandible was assessed. The risk of nerve injury and the percentage of patients suitable for chin bone grafting were calculated. RESULTS Respecting current recommendations for chin bone grafting, the content of the MIC was endangered in 57% of the CTs. Therefore, new safety margins are suggested: the chin bone should be harvested at least 8 mm below the tooth apices with a maximum harvest depth of 4 mm. CONCLUSIONS Applying the new safety recommendations and proper patient selection in chin bone harvesting could reduce the risk of altered postoperative tooth sensitivity due to injury of the mandibular incisive nerve.