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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 296717, 5 pages
Research Article

Occurrence of the Retromolar Foramen in Dry Mandibles of South-Eastern Part of India: A Morphological Study with Review of the Literature

1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, 26671 Manama, Bahrain
2Department of Anatomy, Sapthagiri Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center, Bangalore 560010, India
3Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 4111, Egypt

Received 24 June 2014; Accepted 31 August 2014; Published 29 September 2014

Academic Editor: Levent Sarikcioglu

Copyright © 2014 Bhagath Kumar Potu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The retromolar foramen (RMF) is a rare anatomical structure situated in the retromolar fossa behind the third molar tooth. When it is present, the foramen is connected with the mandibular canal and is believed to transmit neurovascular structures that provide accessory source to the mandibular molars and the buccal area. Reports from the literature show that the presence of RMF could pose a challenge in complete blockage of the inferior alveolar nerve during mandibular surgeries. We report the incidence of retromolar foramen from ninety-four dry mandibles of south-eastern part of Karnataka State, India. The foramen was observed in 11 mandibles out of 94 included in the study (11.7%). In three mandibles, the foramen was present bilaterally (3.2%) and in three it was on the left side (3.2%) and in five it was on the right side (5.3%). For the first time, we also measured the dimensions of the retromolar area and distance of the foramen from third molar tooth to understand its risks during the surgical extraction of the lower third molar tooth. A thorough review of the literature has also been done to compare the present findings with the studies reported from the various populations.