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A Variation in the Morphology of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve with Potential Clinical Significance

Mangala M. Pai, Ravindra S. Swamy, Latha V. Prabhu


An inferior alveolar nerve with multiple roots is a rare variation encountered during dissection of cadavers. We present one such variation found in the right infratemporal fossa of an adult male cadaver. The nerve had three roots, one each from the posterior division of the mandibular nerve, auriculotemporal nerve and lingual nerve. The second part of the maxillary artery was encircled by the roots originating from the posterior division of the mandibular nerve and auriculotemporal nerve. This close topographical relationship may contribute to the etiology of nerve compression syndrome. Thus, knowledge of such variations may prove useful in diagnosis and treatment of that syndrome and may be relevant to several operations involving the infratemporal region.

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