What is the inferior alveolar nerve?


Quick Answer

The inferior alveolar nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers that provides sensation and motor control to the lower jaw. It also provides pain sensation to the lower teeth. For that reason, it is sometimes also called the inferior dental nerve.

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Full Answer

Inferior alveolar nerve blocks are the most common kind of targeted anesthesia used by dentists, as they effectively prevent pain sensation during procedures without dangerously and unnecessarily making the patient unconscious using general anesthesia. The inferior alveolar nerve also provides sensation to the chin, the floor of the mouth and the lower lip, so anesthesia applied to that nerve also affects those areas.

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