Lingual Plate

The lingual plate is the bony wall at the lingual aspect of an alveolus. It consists of alveolar bone proper and cortical bone with or without intervening cancellous bone. The lingual plate is often very thin and subject to fracture or damage during the removal of the mandibular third molar. Factors that may lead to the fracture of the lingual plate include the fusion of the tooth with the bone surrounding it, an older patient, and the size and shape of the root. Other issues that can cause damage to the lingual plate may come from the surgeon or practitioner. These issues include awkward or abrupt extraction movements, the use of chisels in some mandibular third molar removal procedures, and a sudden application of force. Due to the location of the lingual plate, it is possible that a lingual nerve injury may also occur if the plate is fractured or damaged.