Objectives: Mallampati classification is a standard preoperative airway examination assessing mouth opening and structures within the oral cavity. Hypothesis of this study was there is a positive correlation between mallampati score and clinician’s viewing and injection difficulties during the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) blockage.
Materials and methods: 150 (86 female/64 male) patients were included in this prospective, double blind study. Patients who had restricted mouth opening from any reason were excluded from the study. Mallampati airway class, age, sex, body mass index (BMI), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and/or snoring history were documented by same chief resident for all patients at the beginning of the appointment. Injection and viewing difficulties during the IAN anesthesia deposition and surgical procedure, latent duration for local anesthesia and total deposited anesthetic solution amount were recorded by same first year resident. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used for evaluation of viewing and injection difficulties during the IAN blockage and surgical procedure. Results were statistically evaluated by regression analysis.
Results: There was a statistically significant relationship between BMI, OSA, snoring and high mallampati score ( p < 0.05). Majority of the snoring problem was observed in male patients however sleep apnea problem was approximately equal for male and female patients. There was also a statistically significant relationship between the VAS score of viewing and injection difficulty during the IAN blockage and high mallampati score ( p < 0.05).
Conclusions: A clinician should be aware of possible relationship between a high mallampati score and difficulty in viewing the injection location of an IAN blockage.
Conflict of interest: None declared.