This study aimed to investigate the distribution and prevalence of intraosseous loop (anastomosis between posterior superior alveolar artery and infraorbital artery) in Koreans detected on computed tomography (CT) images taken prior to sinus augmentation surgery.
From the 177 patients who underwent sinus augmentation with lateral approach at Ewha Womans University Department of Implant Dentistry, 284 CT scans were evaluated. The canal height (CH), ridge height (RH), and canal height from the sinus floor (CHS) were measured on para-axial views at the first premolar, first molar, and second molar. The horizontal positions of the bony canals in the lateral wall were also classified. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t test were used to estimate the statistical differences (p < 0.05).
The intraosseous loops were detected in 92 CT scans (32 %). The mean vertical height of the bony canals from the alveolar crest (CH) was 23.45 ± 2.81, 15.92 ± 2.65, and 16.61 ± 2.92 mm at the second premolar, first molar, and second molar, respectively. In the horizontal positions of the bony canals, intraosseous type was the most predominant. The canal heights more than 15 mm and less than 17 mm were most prevalent (33.7 %) and those under 13 mm were 12.0 %.
The radiographic findings in this study could be used to decide the lateral osteotomy line avoiding potential vascular complication. However, only one third of the canals could be detected in CT scans; a precaution should be taken for the possibility of severe bleeding during lateral osteotomy.