Neurovascular Content of the Mandibular Canal and Its Clinical Relevance: A Literature Review of the Related Anatomical and Radiological Studies

Apostolos N. Eliades 1 , Kalliopi H. Manta 1 , and Anastasios T. Tsirlis 1
  • 1 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Oral Surgery, Implantology and Oral Radiology, Thessaloniki, Greece


In literature, anatomical variations of the inferior alveolar nerve branches (infratemporal, extraosseous and intraosseous) are reported and their importance in clinical practice is discussed too. The spatial vessels’ position in relationship with the nerve in the mandibular canal was explored, which is of clinical significance in impacted third molar and implant surgery. It is believed that the neurovascular content of the main mandibular canal follows any variations of the mandibular canal i.e. bifid mandibular, retromolar and accessory mental canals. Retrospective studies and case reports reported the presence of multiple foramina on the medial surface of the ramus, near the main mandibular foramen. In some cases, one supplementary mandibular foramen was found to be connected with the lower third molar, which is called “temporal crest canal”. Others found an accessory mandibular foramen that led into a second mandibular canal which joined the main mandibular canal (double) anteriorly. The bony canals contained a terminal branch of the anterior trunk of the mandibular nerve or a branch of inferior alveolar nerve before it entered the mandibular foramen.

The aim of the study was to describe and classify anatomical structures of the mandibular canal and posterior foramina of the mandible through an extensive review of the corresponding studies via the PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar databases.

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