With a steadily increasing impact of oral implant placement in daily practice, the number of reported surgical complications has also been growing. Recent studies reveal significant variation in the occurrence and morphology of neurovascular canal structures in the jaw bone. All those structures contain a neurovascular bundle, the diameter of which may be large enough to cause clinically significant damage. Therefore, it has become obvious that presurgical radiographic planning of jaw-bone surgery should pay attention to the neurovascular structures and their likely variations, in addition to examining many other factors, such as jaw-bone morphology and volume, bone trabecular structure and the absence of bone or tooth pathology. A critical review is accomplished to explore the potential risks for neurovascular complications after implant placement, with evidence derived from histologic, anatomic, clinical and radiologic studies. In this respect, cross-sectional imaging can often be advocated, as it is obvious that the inherent three-dimensional nature of jaw-bone anatomy may clearly benefit from a detailed spatial image analysis. Although this could initially be realized by conventional computed tomography, in current practice, dentomaxillofacial cone beam computed tomography might be used, as it offers high-quality images at low radiation dose levels and costs.