Purpose: The "antilingula" is a term that is only used in oral and maxillofacial surgery publications. It is not found in anatomy texts. This paper examines the origin of the term "antilingula" and explores the literature to determine why there is a bony lump on the lateral surface of the mandible. Methods: The English literature was searched for references to this bony lump on the lateral surface of the mandible to find its origin and intent. Discussion with anatomists about the "antilingula" were undertaken to determine their understanding of it. Results: Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons began using this bony prominence as a guide to the position of the entrance of the inferior alveolar nerve on the medial surface of the mandible in the 1950s. Beginning in 1976, many descriptions of ramus osteotomies refer to the "antilingula" and recommend it as a guide for making bone cuts safely without injuring the inferior alveolar nerve. However, research studies that have been performed reveal no evidence that the "antilingula" has any relationship to the entrance of the inferior alveolar nerve. Discussions with anatomists suggest it is a bony response to the muscles and tendons that insert in that area rather than having a relationship to the entrance of the inferior alveolar nerve. Conclusion: The use of the "antilingula" for marking the location of ramus osteotomies is illogical.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery