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Nerve: Inferior alveolar nerve
Distribution of the maxillary and mandibular nerves, and the submaxillary ganglion. (Inferior alveolar visible at center left.)
Mandibular division of the trifacial nerve. (Inferior alveolar labeled at bottom right.)
Latin nervus alveolaris inferior
Gray's subject #200 896
Innervates dental alveolus
From mandibular nerve
To mylohyoid, dental, incisive, and mental
MeSH [1]

The inferior alveolar nerve (sometimes called the inferior dental nerve) is a branch of the mandibular nerve, which is itself the third branch (V3) of the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V).

The inferior alveolar nerve enters the mandible (lower jaw) via the mandibular foramen, located on the medial surface of the mandible.

The inferior alveolar nerve is located in the mandibular canal within the mandible, where it supplies the mandibular (lower) teeth with sensory branches.

Anteriorly, the nerve gives off the mental nerve at about the level of the mandibular 2nd premolars, which exits the mandible via the mental foramen (supplying sensory branches to the chin and lower lip).

The inferior alveolar nerve continues to innervate the mandibular canines and incisors.


The inferior alveolar nerve is a common target for anesthesia during dental procedures involving the mandibular teeth.

Administration of anesthesia near the mandibular foramen causes blockage of the inferior alveolar nerve and the nearby lingual nerve (supplying the tongue). This is why the numbing of the lower jaw during dental procedures causes the patient to lose sensation in:

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