Q: What is the largest cranial nerve?
head and neck anatomy, cranial nerve, dental hygiene exam prep

Q: What is the largest cranial nerve?

Q: What is the largest cranial nerve?

(A.) First
(B.) Seventh
(C.) Sixth
(D.) Fifth

head and neck anatomy, cranial nerve, dental hygiene exam prep
Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Exams!

There are 12 cranial nerves: olfactory (I), optic (II), oculomotor (III), trochlear (IV), trigeminal (V), abducens (VI), facial (VII), vestibulocochlear (VIII), glossopharyngeal (IX), vagus (X), accessory (XI), and hypoglossal (XII).

Among all of those, the trigeminal (V, fifth) is the largest cranial nerve. It is a mixed nerve, with both sensory and motor components. It has 3 branches: ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular. This fifth cranial nerve is especially important to us (dental professionals) because it provides sensation to the oral cavity and the muscle of mastication.

  • Facial nerve is the seventh (VII) cranial nerve. It is a motor and sensory nerve and supplies the muscles of facial expressions. This nerve can be affected if the needle punctures the parotid gland through which the facial nerve passes during an inferior alveolar nerve block.
  • Abducent is the sixth (VI) cranial nerve. It is a motor nerve and moves the lateral muscle of the eyeballs.
  • Olfactory is the first (I) cranial nerve. It is a sensory nerve and carries odor from the nose to the brain.

Answer: (D.) Fifth

Let’s do this to remember this forever. Do you see the image of Lady Gaga holding her “V” (peace sign)? What does V stand for in roman numbers? It is 5. Now make this V sign, whether you are alone or in public, do it once. Or what about a high five! High five your friend. Then you will never forget that the “V”, also known as #5 is the largest cranial nerve.

Honestly, among all 12 cranial nerves, the fifth cranial nerve is the most important to remember. It provides sensation to the oral cavity, and for this reason, we also need to learn it well for the local anesthesia dental hygiene boards (WREB, CDCA).

StudentRDH also has a fantastic review for Local Anesthesia. It gives you everything you need in bullet point format. The best part, in my opinion, is the mock exam because we really tried to make it similar to the actual exam (WREB, CDCA)!

Keep being a fantastic #RDH and #futureRDH! We are here for you and will continue sending your StudentRDH weekly vitamins!

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(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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