Mandibular canal

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Bone: Mandibular canal
The permanent teeth, viewed from the right. The external layer of bone has been partly removed and the maxillary sinus has been opened.
Gray's subject #44 173

The mandibular canal runs obliquely downward and forward in the ramus, and then horizontally forward in the body, where it is placed under the alveoli and communicates with them by small openings.

On arriving at the incisor teeth, it turns back to communicate with the mental foramen, giving off two small canals which run to the cavities containing the incisor teeth.

Carries branches of inferior alveolar nerve and artery. Is continuous with the mental foramen (opents onto front of mandible) and mandibular foramen (on medial aspect of ramus).


The mandibular canal is fairly close to the apices of the second molar in 50% of the radiographs. In 40%, canal is away from the root apices, and in only 10% of the radiographs the root apices appeared to penetrate the canal. In root canal therapy of the second molar one should be cautious of over extending the reamer or the root canal filling materials because there is a possible risk of inferior alveolar nerve injury.[1]

See also

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.