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Mandibular retromolar foramen and canal: A systematic review and meta-analysis

 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Manipur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Setu P Shah,
202, Dev Aryan Apartment, Thakore Park Soc., New Vikas Gruh Road, Mahalaxmi, Paldi, Ahmedabad – 380007, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ams.ams_19_20

Introduction: The retromolar fossa is a small triangular area posterolateral to 3rd molar region in the mandible. The retromolar fossa often contains the retromolar foramen (RMF) as an anatomical variant. When the RMF is present, the foramen is connected with the mandibular canal (MC) through another canal known as the retromolar canal (RMC). RMC contains neurovascular bundle, which gives additional supply to the mandible. Although few studies have been conducted in past, a lacunae in comprehensive review is lacking. Although, these variations posed challenging situations for the practicing surgeons, they have been quite neglected and not well presented in textbooks. Hence, we made an attempt to provide a comprehensive and consolidated review regarding RMF and RMC. Materials and Methods: The relevant articles were selected by hand search and electronic media (Google scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Medline, Embase and Cochrane) from 1987 to 2019. All the relevant articles were properly screened and findings were extracted from the articles. Results: There seems to be wide variations in morphology and morphometry of RMF and RMC. Discussion: Detailed knowledge of these anatomical variations is important in surgical procedure involving the retromolar area to protect the patient from complications such as unexpected bleeding, hematoma formation, and nerve damage. Furthermore, its knowledge makes us understand about the failed inferior alveolar nerve block, spread of infection, and metastasis in case of carcinoma. When there is any suspicious alteration in the MC, we suggest more accurate examination technique like CBCT.

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    -  Mehta D
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