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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia: Inferior alveolar Nerve

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia

Inferior Alveolar Nerve

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

The inferior alveolar nerve may form a single trunk with the lingual nerve, extending as far as the mandibular (dental) foramen.

It may be separated from the lingual nerve by an accessory ligament extending from the lateral pterygoid plate and spine of the sphenoid to the lateral side of the pterygospinous ligament.

The inferior alveolar nerve is sometimes perforated by the internal (medial) maxillary artery.

It may have accessory roots from other divisions of the mandibular nerve.

In some cases, the mylohyoid branch of the inferior alveolar gives rise to a branch that pierces the mylohyoid muscle and joins the lingual nerve.

Branches have been described arising from the the mylohyoid branch and supplying the Mm. depressor anguli oris and parts of platysma (that are usually supplied by the facial nerve), the skin below the chin, and the submandibular (submaxillary) gland (that is usually supplied by the facial nerve).

The inferior alveolar may form connections with the auriculotemporal nerve.

In one case, the roots of the third lower molar tooth were found surrounding the inferior alveolar nerve.

Image 18


Cushing, H. (1904) The sensory distribution of the fifth cranial nerve. Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin 15:213-232.

Kido, S. and K. Kameda. (1940) über die Ursprungsgeweise des N. mylohyoideus und die Anastomosenbildung zwischen dem N. alveolaris mandibularis und dem N. lingualis. Folia Anat. Jpn. 19:597-605.

Koch-Langentreu, J. (1947) Abnormer Verlauf des Nervus alveolaris inferior. Z. Stomatolgie 44:317-318. Cited in Exerpta Medica, Sec. 1, vol. 2, abstract 1305, 1948.

Lazorthes, G., Poulhès, J. et S. Gaubert. (1952) La signification et la hauter des archades du ligament dentelé. Assoc. Anatomistes Comptes Rendus 39:303-311.

Rácz, L., Maros, T. and L. Seves-Strum. (1981) Anatomical variations of the nervus alveolaris inferior and their importance for the practice. Anat. Anz. 149:329-332.

Starkie, C. and D. Stewart. (1931) The intra-mandibular course of the inferior dental nerve. J. Anat. 65:319-323.

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