INTRODUCTION: The use of inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) may represent a non-invasive method to evaluate the sensory nerve function in the maxillofacial region. The aim of this work is to confirm the feasibility of a technique, previously reported in the literature, and the data previously obtained. MATERIALS AND METHODS: SEPs were obtained following electrical stimulation (square wave pulses 0.2 millisecond [ms] in duration, 4 to 6.5 mA, 0.7/second repetition rate, 200 averages) of the gum at the mental foramen level, in the IAN region, via a new designed type of intraoral surface electrodes and recorded from the contralateral central scalp sites. RESULTS: We recognized waveforms of sufficient quality and consistently recorded a "W"-shaped response. Peak latencies of waves were at 14, 20, 27, 34 and 43 ms respectively. One side of the lower lip can be compared with the contralateral side. CONCLUSIONS: IAN SEPs, obtained with the present technique, may represent an objective, non-invasive, and reliable way of testing sensory nerve function in the maxillofacial region.
- Inferior alveolar nerve
- Somato-sensory evoked potentials