The Anatomy of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve
The inferior alveolar nerve is a branch of the mandibular nerve that passes through the mandibular canal to the mental foramen giving off various branches along the way to the teeth of the lower jaw and finally to the skin of the chin, and the skin and mucous membrane of the lower lip (Image #8 and #9). Whereas the lingual nerve is in soft tissue throughout its distribution, the inferior alveolar nerve enters the mandible (lower jaw) and travels down a boney tunnel called the mandibular canal before one branch innervates the gums on the front lower teeth (lip side) down to the floor of the mouth and up to the lip and the other branch exits the mental foramen innervating the midline of the lip to the corner of the mouth, extending down to the chin in an inverted triangle.
Image #8: Lateral view of the skull showing the mental foramen (opening for the mental nerve)
Image #9a: Lower Jaw (mandible) & the Inferior Alveolar Nerve & the Mental Nerve.Please see the excellent article on Inferior Dental (Alveolar) & Lingual Nerve Injuries at the Exodontia.Info website at http://www.exodontia.info/DentalNerveInjuries.html
Image #9b: Lower Jaw (mandible) & the Inferior Alveolar Nerve, Lingual Nerve & the Long Buccal Nerve in relationship to the third molar (wisdom tooth). Please see the excellent article on Inferior Dental (Alveolar) & Lingual Nerve Injuries at the Exodontia.Info website at http://www.exodontia.info/DentalNerveInjuries.html