Background: Metal artifacts are the major weak points of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans. This study aimed to quantify the amount of metal artifacts generated by dental implants placed in different anatomical locations in the mandible on CBCT scans.
Methods: In this study, 98 CBCT scans of mandibular dental implants with prosthetic crowns were randomly selected irrespective of the age and gender of the patients. Of all 98 implants, 42 were placed in the anterior mandible and 56 were placed in the posterior mandible. The samples were divided into two groups of single and multiple implants. The CBCT scans of each implant were evaluated in apical and cervical cross-sections. The amount of metal artifacts generated around the implants was calculated. Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test at 0.05 level of significance.
Results: Higher amounts of artifacts were noted in the anterior mandible compared to the posterior mandible. Additionally, the amount of artifacts was higher in the cervical cross-section than in the apical cross-section. The difference in the amount of artifacts generated in the cervical cross-section was significant between single and multiple implants (P<0.05). However, this difference was not significant in the apical cross-section (P>0.05).
Conclusions: Dental implants always generate metal artifacts on CBCT scans, and the amount of generated artifacts is influenced by the anatomical location of implants in the mandibular arch.