Middle superior alveolar nerve

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 20 Sep 2020

The middle superior alveolar​ nerve, also known as the middle superior dental nerve, is the second branch of the infra-orbital nerve, from the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve. It is the smallest of the superior alveolar nerves and contributes to the superior dental plexus.

Gross anatomy

It arises from the infra-orbital nerve whilst in the infra-orbital canal and descends to enter the maxilla via alveolar canals. Terminal dental branches enter the apical foramina at the dental roots.

The nerves supply the maxillary sinus, mid maxillary oral mucosa, the mesiobuccal root of the first maxillary molar tooth and the premolar teeth.

Variant anatomy

The nerve may be absent, in which case the posterior superior alveolar​ nerve supplies the molars and premolars.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: maxillary and mandibular divisions of the trigeminal nerve (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve (Gray's illustration)
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