Objectives

The objectives of this article were the following: (1) to analyze bone thickness and height (BTH) of the buccal shelf area (BS) quantitatively in four different potentially eligible sites for miniscrew insertion; (2) to compare and contrast BTH and the changes in spatial position of the inferior alveolar nerve canal (IANC); and (3) to assess differences with age among vertical facial patterns (hypodivergent, normodivergent, and hyperdivergent) and well as by sex.

Materials and Methods

Cone-beam computed tomography scans of 205 individuals (110 women and 95 men) were divided into groups according to age, vertical facial pattern, and sex. The BTH of the BS and the BTH to the IANC were measured in the mesial and distal roots of the first and second molars.

Results

BTH progressively increased in a posterior direction (P < .001), while BTH to the IANC increased and decreased (P < .001) for thickness and height, respectively, in the same direction in all age groups, for the three different vertical facial patterns, and in both sexes. Women showed significantly less BTH to the IANC (P < .002). Hypodivergent patients had greater BTH (P < .024) and a smaller bone height to the IANC (P < .018) only in the first molar region. Patients over 40 years of age had lower bone height in the second molar area (P < .003).

Conclusions

The ideal place for BS miniscrew insertion is the region of the distal root of the second molars, regardless of facial pattern, sex, and age. The BS in women has less BTH and less BTH to the IANC.

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Author notes

a

Orthodontic Resident, Graduate Program in Dentistry, Department of Dentistry, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

b

PhD Resident, Graduate Program in Dentistry, Department of Dentistry, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

c

Associate Professor, Orthodontic Program, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

d

Associate Professor, Graduate Program in Dentistry, Department of Dentistry, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

e

Associate Professor and Program Director, Department of Orthodontics, College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.