TREATMENT PLANNING IN RELATION TO IMPLANT PLACEMENT IN THE ATROPHIC POSTERIOR MANDIBLE WITH FOCUS ON THE RADIOGRAPHIC EXAMINATION
Atrophy of the posterior mandible presents challenges, when one or more teeth are to be replaced with an implant-based prosthetic restoration. The treatment strategy is influenced by several factors, including the dimensions of the alveolar ridge as well as the location of relevant anatomical structures in the floor of the mouth and the mandible. Localization of the mandibular canal is therefore of utmost importance in relation to implant placement in the atrophic posterior mandible since injury to the inferior alveolar nerve may cause neurosensory disturbances of the chin and lower lip. Thus, careful treatment planning, including radiological identification of the mandibular canal is essential for the selection of relevant treatment modality for prosthetic rehabilitation of the atrophic posterior mandible as well as conducting the treatment with a predictable and safe treatment outcome with a good long-term prognosis and the lowest risk of complications. In the present review, various methods for assessment of the edentulous area in the posterior mandible prior to implant treatment, including radiographic examination with special focus on the use of CBCT for localization of the mandibular canal are presented.