Citation Information :
Alasmari D. Morphometric Evaluation of Morphological Variations of the Nasopalatine Canal: A Retrospective Study Using Cone-beam Computed Tomography. J Contemp Dent Pract 2023; 24 (9):660-667.
Aim: The study aimed to analyze the morphological and anatomical variations of the nasopalatine canal (NPC) using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images and their association with age and gender among the subpopulation of the Qassim region of Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: The CBCT records of 401 patients referred to the Department of Radiology between January 2020 and July 2023 were randomly selected in the retrospective cross-sectional study. The anatomical characteristics such as the length of the NPC, and the superior and inferior width of the canal, were analyzed. In the sagittal and axial planes, the morphological variants of the shape of the NPC were also investigated. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used for statistical analyses at a 5% significance level.
Results: The study examined the CBCT images of 219 females (54.6%) and 182 males (45.4%) with an overall mean age of 40.17 ± 2.31 years. The overall length of the NPC and superior and inferior canal width were 13.86 ± 2.68 mm, 3.4 ± 1.42 mm, and 4.07 ± 2.06 mm, respectively. Independent t-test revealed that the males had a statistically significant larger superior (3.62 ± 1.78 mm) and inferior canal width (4.33 ± 1.79 mm). In terms of gender, the Chi-square test revealed a statistically significant association (p < 0.01) between the morphological shape of the NPC in the axial and sagittal planes. The heart-shaped (51.4%) and cone-shaped canals (34.2%) were the most frequently recorded NPC in the axial and sagittal planes, respectively. Pearson's correlation found a statistically significant positive relationship (p < 0.05) between the superior and inferior canal width and the canal length. Spearman's correlation revealed a statistically highly significant correlation between the NPC shape in the sagittal plane and gender (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: The study findings revealed a statistically significant difference in the anatomical and morphological traits of the NPC in the axial and sagittal planes based on gender. The effect of age and gender was found to exhibit significant differences with the NPC parameters. The heart-shaped canal in the axial plane and the cone-shaped canal in the sagittal plane were more prevalent in the study sample. A three-dimensional (3D) examination of the NPC will be crucial to avert challenging circumstances prior to surgical treatments in the anterior maxilla.
Clinical significance: The NPC is a long, narrow canal that can take up to 58% of the buccal bone plate width, and an accurate 3D anatomic illustration of the NPC allows for reliable surgical planning and dental implant placement.
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