The Lingual Plate is the side of the lower jaw tooth socket nearest the tongue.  In
the region of the lower wisdom tooth (
3rd molar), the Lingual Plate can often be
very thin.
Lingual Plate Fracture
The Lingual Plate Fracture (and not just with the Lingual Plate but also with the
Buccal, Labial & Palatal Cortical Plates) is associated with:

  • extraction movements that are abrupt and awkward
  • ankylosis (fusing of the tooth with the surrounding bone) of the tooth in the
    socket (alveolar process)
  • horizontally / mesially impacted lower wisdom teeth that have been partially
    erupted for awhile together with
  • low-grade infection associated with them (such as pericoronitis or
  • African origin (denser bone)
  • more mature patient (sclerotic bone)
  • use of chisels / osteotomes, utilised in the decoronating of lower wisdom teeth
    (Lingual Split Technique used to ‘saucerise the socket’)
  • the sudden application of force
  • root size (large) and shape (splayed +/- bulbous roots)

The plate fragment is often adherent to the wisdom tooth.  Dependent on its size, it
can be dissected out.  The socket will need to be ‘tidied up’ (the archaic term
wound toilet” is used).  It is very likely that the Lingual Nerve has been traumatised
whilst this is being done.  This will result in nerve damage that ranges from
numbness of the tongue to ‘pins and needles’ or burning of that side of the tongue
as the extraction to loss of taste.
The X-Rays & Photos show a Lingual Plate Fracture associated with the Lower
Left Wisdom Tooth.
X-Ray showing the approximate shape of the Lingual Plate Fracture Fragment
Last Updated 11th August 2010