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Sexual dimorphism and geographical variance: their impact on the reliability of the antilingula as a landmark in human mandibular surgery.

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Kapur, M 
Shah, RA 
Ferro, A 
Basyuni, S 


The intraoral vertical ramus osteotomy (IVRO) is an orthognathic procedure that is used to correct dentofacial abnormalities, and is performed by approaching the lateral aspect of the mandibular ramus. This approach, however, precludes visualisation of the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) on the medial side, thereby placing it at risk of iatrogenic damage. The antilingula, a bony prominence on the lateral mandibular ramus, has been proposed as a landmark for prediction of the IAN's location during IVRO. The current study aimed to evaluate the variation in incidence and position of the antilingula, and therefore to determine its suitability as a surgical landmark during IVRO. The study included 480 dry hemimandibles from eight geographical populations from the Duckworth Collection in Cambridge. Skulls were sexed by visual analysis of dimorphic traits. Positional relations were determined through the digitisation of nine anatomical landmarks. The antilingula was identified in all specimens. No significant difference was identified in the positional relation between the antilingula and mandibular foramen between sexes, but multiple differences were identified in this relation between geographical populations. Our data showed that, irrespective of geographical variation, an osteotomy performed 8mm posterior to the antilingula would avoid the mandibular foramen in 98.8% of cases.



Antilingula, IVRO, Mandibular foramen, Midwaist point, Humans, Mandible, Mandibular Nerve, Orthognathic Surgical Procedures, Prognathism, Reproducibility of Results, Sex Characteristics

Journal Title

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg

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Elsevier BV