Objectives: To assess the prevalence, location and anatomical course of accessory canals of the jaws using cone beam CT. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 4200 successive cone beam CT scans, for patients of both genders and ages ranging from 7 to 88 years, was performed. They were exposed at the School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. After applying the exclusion criteria (the presence of severe ridge resorption, pre-existing implants, a previously reported history of craniofacial malformations or syndromes, a previous history of trauma or surgery, inadequate image quality and subsequent scans from the same individuals), 4051 scans were ultimately included in this study. Results: Of the 4051 scans (2306 females and 1745 males) that qualified for inclusion in this study, accessory canals were identified in 1737 cases (42.9%; 1004 females and 733 males). 532 scans were in the maxilla (13.1%; 296 females and 236 males) and 1205 in the mandible (29.8%; 708 females and 497 males). Conclusions: A network of accessory canals bringing into communication the inner and outer cortical plates of the jaws was identified. In light of these findings, clinicians should carefully assess for the presence of accessory canals prior to any surgical intervention to decrease the risk for complications.
- Accessory canals
- Incisive canal
- Lingual vascular canals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging