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Inferior alveolar nerve

Recommended video: Mandibular nerve [19:26]
Course and branches of the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve.

The inferior alveolar nerve is a branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (Cranial nerve V3). It is a somatic sensory nerve.

After arising from the mandibular nerve, the inferior alveolar nerve travels in an inferior direction. It passes deep to the lateral pterygoid muscle then travels through the inferior alveolar (a.k.a. mandibular) foramen and mandibular canal to enter the jaw. Here it runs inferior to the apices of the teeth, giving off its terminal branches as it travels towards the chin.

The nerve to mylohyoid arises from the inferior alveolar nerve before it travels through the inferior alveolar (a.k.a. mandibular) foramen. After passing through the foramen, the inferior alveolar nerve gives off the mental nerve (which passes from deep to superficial via the mental foramen) and the branches that form the inferior dental plexus. The inferior alveolar nerve and its terminal branches supply sensation to the mandible, chin, inferior lip and mandibular teeth.

Terminology English: Inferior alveolar nerve
Latin: Nervus alveolaris inferior
Definition and classification Inferior alveolar nerve is a branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. It is a somatic (general) sensory nerve.
Branches - Nerve to mylohyoid muscle

- Mental nerve: mental branches of mental nerve, inferior labial branches of mental nerve, gingival branches of mental nerve

- Inferior dental plexus: dental branches of inferior alveolar nerve, gingival branches of inferior alveolar nerve
Function Sensation to the mandible, chin, inferior lip and mandibular teeth.

Learn more about the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve with this study unit:

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