Purpose: This study evaluated the relationship of the mandibular third molar to the lingual nerve. Materials and Methods: An anatomic dissection of the lingual nerve in the third molar region was done on 20 cadavers (40 sides). Results: The position of the nerve on one side bore no statistical relationship to the position of the nerve on the opposite side. The position of the lingual nerve was variable in both the sagittal and coronal planes. In two specimens the nerve lay superior to the lingual plate and in another the superior surface of the nerve was level with the crest of the lingual plate. Conclusion: These findings have implications for the avoidance of lingual nerve damage during surgery in the third molar and retromolar region of the mandible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery