(3) Mandibular (sigmoid) notch. Between the coronoid process and the
condyloid process is a U-shaped space called the mandibular notch.
(4) Mandibular foramina. Near the center, on the inner surface of each
ramus, is a mandibular foramen. These two foramina are openings of the mandibular
canals. The canals pass through the mandible near the apices of the mandibular teeth.
They carry the blood vessels and nerves that supply the teeth. They also supply most
of the soft tissues supporting the teeth as well as the lower lip and chin. The foramina
are important anatomical landmarks when administering local anesthesia on the
c. Fractures. The mandible is frequently fractured in automobile accidents.
Fractures that occur in the region of the angle of the mandible are not common because
of heavy muscular attachment. The most common fractures of the mandible occur at or
behind the mental foramen. Note in figure 2-8 that the assisting muscles of mastication
that pull the jaw downward are attached anterior to this fracture site.
Figure 2-9. Masseter and temporalis muscles.