Assessment of the anterior loop of the mandibular canal: A study using cone-beam computed tomography.

Imaging Sci Dent. 2016 Jun;46(2):69-75. doi: 10.5624/isd.2016.46.2.69. Epub 2016 Jun 23.



Sufficient 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).


CBCT 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.


An 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).


In 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.


great blog

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