[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preoperative planning systems are commonly used for oral implant surgery. One of the objectives is to determine if the quantity and quality of bone is sufficient to sustain an implant while avoiding critical anatomic structures. We aim to automate the segmentation of jaw tissues on CT images: cortical bone, trabecular core and especially the mandibular canal containing the dental nerve. This nerve must be avoided during implant surgery to prevent lip numbness. Previous work in this field used thresholds or filters and needed manual initialization. An automated system based on the use of Active Appearance Models (AAMs) is proposed. Our contribution is a completely automated segmentation of tissues and a semi-automatic landmarking process necessary to create the AAM model. The AAM is trained using 215 images and tested with a leave-4-out scheme. Results obtained show an initialization error of 3.25% and a mean error of 1.63mm for the cortical bone, 2.90 mm for the trabecular core, 4.76 mm for the mandibular canal and 3.40 mm for the dental nerve.