The microanatomy of the lingual nerve in the third molar area was studied. Twenty-two pairs of lingual nerves were dissected from human cadavers. The area of each nerve adjacent to the third molar was identified, cut, serially sectioned, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Nerve cell bodies were found within the structure of 40 of the 44 individual nerves (90.91%). There were two patterns of organization of the nerve cell bodies: isolated nerve cell bodies and ganglion-like clusters of nerve cell bodies. Because of the proximity of the submandibular ganglion, it can be inferred that these cell bodies are parasympathetic in function. The presence of nerve cell bodies in the lingual nerve in the third molar region could have possible clinical ramifications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery