The Course and Distribution of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve in the Edentulous Mandible

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The authors undertook the study to determine the pattern of intrabony distribution of the branches of the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) in the edentulous mandible. One hundred seven human cadaveric mandibles were microdissected from their buccal aspect. In each case the height and distribution of the IAN was classified. The authors found that the IAN was located in the lower half of the mandible in 73% of males and 70% of females. The most common branching pattern observed was a single nerve trunk with a series of simple branches directed at the superior border of the mandible (59.6% males, 52% females). The second most common pattern was that of a small nerve plexus in the molar region (21.1% males, 26% females). The results showed that the pattern of distribution does not significantly differ between the sexes, between sides of the jaw, or with age.

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