Inferior alveolar and lingual nerve imaging

Atlas Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. 2011 Mar;19(1):35-46. doi: 10.1016/j.cxom.2010.11.003.


At present, there are no objective testing modalities available for evaluation of iatrogenic injury to the terminal branches of the trigeminal nerve, making such clinical diagnosis and management complicated for the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Several imaging modalities can assist in the preoperative risk assessment of the trigeminal nerve as related to commonly performed procedures in the vicinity of the nerve, mostly third molar surgery. This article provides a review of all available imaging modalities and their clinical application relative to preoperative injury risk assessment of the inferior alveolar nerve and lingual nerve, and postinjury and postsurgical repair recovery status.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Lingual Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Lingual Nerve Injuries*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mandibular Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography, Panoramic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trigeminal Nerve Injuries*
  • Ultrasonography