The image above shows a dentaform manufactured by Kilgore International inc. It represents a number pathological conditions in the teeth including caries, inflamed periodontal ligaments, interradicular granuloma and an inflamed dental pulp. Its purpose here is to illustrate the anatomical appearance of the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve as it would be seen in a dissection of the maxilla.
All of the nerves seen in the dentaform above are branches of the maxillary branch of the trigeminal nerve which originates at the semilunar ganglion. The nerve at the top of the dissection is called the infraorbital nerve. It is a branch of the maxillary nerve which is the second division of the trigeminal nerve. The maxillary nerve and all its sub branches are colored green in the illustration to the right. The infraorbital nerve runs just beneath the orbit (eye socket) and exits through the infraorbital foramen. It gives sensation to the skin between the lower eyelid, the nose and the upper lip, as well as to the mucous membrane in the upper anterior part of the mouth.
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The small nerves breaking off the maxillary branch just before the infraorbital branch, and going to the tips of the roots of the teeth, are collectively called the superior dental plexus. The plexus is innervated by a group of four branches of the maxillary nerve. These traverse through the very thin bony plates which compose the walls of the sinuses. These small trunks are collectively known as the superior alveolar branches.