Inferior alveolar nerve

The inferior alveolar nerve or inferior dental nerve is a mixed sensory and motor branch of the posterior division of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve, located in the pteryogomandibular space of the oral cavity/masticator space.

Gross anatomy

The inferior alveolar nerve divides off the posterior division and descends posterior to the lingual nerve, deep to lateral pterygoid muscle and lateral to the pterygomandibular raphe, between the sphenomandibular ligament and the ramus of the mandible. It enters the mandibular foramen anterior to the inferior alveolar artery and vein. It then courses in the mandibular canal.

The inferior alveolar nerve has three major branches:

In the mandibular canal, the nerve also gives off small unnamed twigs that contribute to contributes to the inferior dental plexus supplying the mandibular molar and premolar teeth.

Variant anatomy

Some authors document the mental nerve carrying parasympathetic fibers from the otic ganglion to the labial glands of the lower lip.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 51641
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Inferior dental nerve

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