Which foramen is the opening for the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve?
head and neck anatomy, foramen ovale, dental hygiene exam prep

Which foramen is the opening for the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve?

Which foramen is the opening for the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve?

(A.) Foramen rotundum
(B.) Foramen ovale
(C.) Foramen spinosum
(D.) Foramen magnum

head and neck anatomy, foramen ovale, dental hygiene exam prep
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Answer: (B.) Foramen ovale

The definitions of the four different foramen are as follows:

  • Foramen rotundum: located in the middle cranial fossa, at the base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. Serves as the opening for the maxillary nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve.
  • Foramen ovale: oval-shaped opening located in the middle cranial fossa, at the base of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. Serves as the opening for the mandibular nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve.
  • Foramen spinosum: located in the postomedial part of the greater wing of the sphenoid bone. Serves as the opening for the middle meningeal nerves.
  • Foramen magnum: large opening in the occipital bone of the skull. Serves as the opening for the spinal cord.

Tips for memorization: just remember one thing, “Oh-man!” Now we know that the foramen Ovale (Oh) is related to the mandibular (Man) division of the trigeminal nerve, we can now guess that the foramen “Rotundum” is related the maxillary division.

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Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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