PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the location of the mandibular canal in Class III malocclusion to its location in normal occlusion for adults. MATERIALS AND METHODS: For this study 32 skeletal Class III patients and 26 normal patients were observed. Four measurements were taken on cross sectional tomography between the first and second molars: the distance from the mandibular canal to the inner surface of both the buccal and lingual cortices, the distance from the mandibular canal to the inferior border of the mandible, and the buccolingual width of the mandible. The buccolingual location of the canals was classified as lingual, central, or buccal. Each measurement was analyzed with an independent t test to compare Class III malocclusion to normal occlusion. RESULTS: Compared to the control group, the prognathic group had a shorter distance from the canal to the inner surface of the lingual cortex and to the base of the mandible. A higher percentage of the canals were located lingually in the prognathic group. CONCLUSION: This study showed that the mandibular canal was located more lingually and inferiorly in prognathic patients than in patients with normal occlusion. These results could help surgeons to reduce injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve.