Objective: The anterior loop, the mandibular incisive canal, and the lingual symphyseal foramen are important structures in the anterior mandible. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of these structures using CBCT.
Keywords: anterior loop, CBCT, interforaminal mandible, lingual foramen, mandibular incisive canal
Method and materials: A total of 170 projections were analyzed in different sectional planes. The study analyzed the prevalence and extension of the anterior loop and the prevalence of both the mandibular incisive canal and the lingual symphyseal foramen by using the GALAXIS software by Sirona.
Results: In 98.2 % (n = 167) a lingual symphyseal foramen was detected. An anterior loop was present in 31.2% (n = 53) with statistically significant higher detection rate in younger patients (P = .001). The median length was 1.26 mm (range 0.53–3.70 mm). No statistically significant differences regarding patient side or sex were found in either case. In 72.4% (n = 123) a mandibular incisive canal was detected. There was a statistically significant dependence of the mandibular incisive canal on patient sex (P = .007): female patients had a mandibular incisive canal significantly more often than male patients. Among male patients a significant difference of the mandibular incisive canal regarding the mandibular side (P = .031) was found; it was significantly less frequent on the right than on the left side.
Conclusion: Anterior loop, mandibular incisive canal, and lingual symphyseal foramen are often present. Furthermore, the anatomical, neurovascular variability in the interforaminal area of the mandible emphasizes the importance of 3D imaging like CBCT in preoperative assessment, and confirms that a general safe zone should not solely be relied upon when performing surgery in this region.