No consensus exists about the safest position for performing the osseous genioplasty, with 5 to 6 mm below the mental foramen being the most frequently recommended position. This study intends to generate a safe distance guide to minimize the risk of inferior alveolar nerve injury during osteotomy.
Pretreatment cone-beam computed tomography–derived three-dimensional models from adult patients with skeletal class I to III patterns and cleft lip/palate deformity who underwent orthodontic-surgical interventions (n = 317) were analyzed. A three-dimensional vertical distance between the inferior margin of the mental foramen and the lowest point of the inferior alveolar nerve canal was measured in each three-dimensional hemimandible (n = 634). Statistical analysis was performed to generate the safe distance guide in a stepwise fashion at 95, 99, and 99.99 percent confidence levels.
Class III (4.35 ± 1.42 mm) and cleft lip/palate (4.42 ± 1.53 mm) groups presented significantly (p < 0.001) larger three-dimensional distances than class I (3.44 ± 1.54 mm) and class II (3.66 ± 1.51 mm) groups. By considering the 5- to 6-mm safe distance parameter, 6.4, 5.0, 10.6, 16, and 9.9 percent of hemimandibles were at risk of osteotomy-induced nerve injury in the class I, class II, class III, cleft lip/palate, and overall cohorts, respectively. Overall, the safe distance zone to perform the osteotomy was set at 7.06, 8.01, and 9.12 mm below the mental foramen, with risk probabilities of 2.5, 0.5, and 0.0005 percent, respectively.
This study contributes to patient safety and surgeon practice by proving a safe distance guide for genioplasty.