The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants vol:21 issue:4 pages:581-6
PURPOSE: To determine the incidence, size, location, course, and content of the superior genial spinal foramen and its bony canal. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three hundred eighty dry human cadaver mandibles were morphometrically analyzed by measuring the distance from the foramen to the mandibular base and the size of the foramen and bony canal. Radiologically, the course of the bony canal and its relation to the mandibular incisive canal were investigated after injecting contrast medium (Omnipaque) in the superior genial spinal foramen and the incisive canal at the level of the mental foramen or by inserting a thin metal wire into the bony canal. Dissection was performed on another 10 intact cadaver mandibles. RESULTS: A distinct foramen was present in 98% of all dry specimens studied. Its general form was round or flattened funnel-shaped. Upon microanatomic dissection, a distinct branch of the lingual artery and the lingual nerve entering the superior genial spinal foramen were found. CONCLUSIONS: The superior genial spinal foramen is present in most human mandibles and appears to be the entrance of a true lingual neurovascular bundle passing into the bone via a well-defined bony canal toward the buccal side. This implies that surgery and more specifically implant placement at the mandibular midline may carry some risk of neurovascular damage.