Variation in the size of the condyloid process and position of the mandibular foramen in male and female human skulls of African American and Caucasian decent

Desai, Shivali, Aziz Moukled, and Mary Tracy-Bee

·      The mandibular foramen is an oblique hole on the medial surface of the ramus of human mandibles that serves as an entrance for the inferior alveolar vessels and nerve.   

·      In dental procedures, the inferior alveolar nerve is the focal point when the lower jaw is anesthetized.

·      Our research focused on examining the disparity in the position of the mandibular foramen in male and female populations of both the African-American and Caucasian races.

·      One hundred skulls from the Hamaan-Todd collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History were digitally photographed and analyzed in a double blind study.

·      All parameters differed significantly between African American and Caucasian skulls.

·      Suprisingly, the left condyloid process was significantly larger than the right condyloid process (p<0.001). 

·      The distance from the anterior border of the grooved edge of the ramus to the foramen was significantly higher in females than males (p<0.001), contrary to our expectations. 

·      This provides insight into the position of the foramen and impacts treatment approaches in dental anesthesia.