Retromolar foramen and canal: A comprehensive review on its anatomy and clinical applications

B. Kumar Potu*, S. Jagadeesan, K. Bhat, S. Rao Sirasanagandla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The retromolar foramen (RMF) and retromolar canal (RMC) are the anatomical structures of the mandible located in retromolar fossa behind the third molar tooth. This foramen and canal contain neurovascular structures which provide accessory/additional innervation to the mandibular molars and the buccal area. These neurovascular contents of the canal gain more importance in medical and dental practice, because these elements are vulnerable to damage during placement of osteointegrated implants, endodontic treatment and sagittal split osteotomy surgeries and a detailed knowledge of this anatomical variation would be vital in understanding failed inferior alveolar nerve blockage, spread of infection and also metastasis. Although few studies have been conducted in the past showing the incidence and types in different population groups, a lacunae in comprehensive review of this structure is lacking. Though this variation posed challenging situations for the practicing surgeons, it has been quite neglected and the incidence of it is not well presented in all the textbooks. Hence, we made an attempt to provide a consolidated review regarding variations and clinical applications of the RMF and RMC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
Issue number317
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Failed inferior alveolar nerve blockage
  • Incidence
  • Retromolar canal
  • Retromolar foramen
  • Review of literature
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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