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Using the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles as references, identify the buccal branch of the mandibular nerve (CN V3) and accompanying buccal artery . The nerve and artery usually pass between the two heads of the lateral pterygoid muscle.
Next, identify the lingual nerve and inferior alveolar nerve [cross-section] (Figure 27.3). These two nerves pass between the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles.
Distally, the inferior alveolar nerve enters the mandibular foramen. The lingual nerve lies superior to the inferior alveolar nerve and passes anteriorly to reach the tongue. Directly medial and posterior to the nerves, identify the sphenomandibular ligament. It attaches superiorly to the spine of the sphenoid and inferiorly to the lingula of the mandible.
Links and References:
Rohen/Yokochi: 80, 81