area in the interforaminal region is required for dental implant
placement, and the anterior loop of the mandibular canal is located
within the limits of this area. The aim of this study was to evaluate
the prevalence and extent of the anterior loop in a Brazilian sample
population using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
images from 250 patients (500 hemimandibles) obtained for various
clinical indications were randomly selected and evaluated to determine
the presence and length of the anterior loop. The length of the anterior
loop was then compared based on gender, age, and the side of the
mandible. The data were analyzed using the Pearson chi-square test and
linear regression analysis.
anterior loop was identified in 41.6% of the cases, and its length
ranged from 0.25 mm to 4.00 mm (mean, 1.1±0.8 mm). The loop had a
greater mean length and was significantly more prevalent in males
(p=0.014). No significant differences were found between the right and
left sides regarding length (p=0.696) or prevalence (p=0.650).
this study, a high prevalence of the anterior loop of the mandibular
canal was found, and although its length varied greatly, in most cases
it was less than 1 mm long. Although this is a prevalent anatomical
variation, safety limits for the placement of implants in this region
cannot be established before an accurate evaluation using imaging
techniques in order to identify and preserve the neurovascular bundles.