ABSTRACT Purpose: to evaluate the occurrence of loss of sensitivity of the inferior alveolar nerve, and to monitor the remission of this change in patients with mandibular fractures subjected to surgical treatment. Methods: patients with mandibular fractures, surgically treated within one year, were prospectively evaluated. Data regarding etiology, fracture location, type and displacement, and surgical access, were obtained. The tactile and thermal tests were applied at eighteen points in the mental region, within a period of six months. Statistical tests were applied to compare the categories of variables and the period of observation (p ≤ 0.050). Results: during the study, 37 patients were included. There were 24 bilateral and 13 unilateral fractures. Sensory changes occurred in 56.8% of the patients in the preoperative period, in 83.8% of the patients, in the postoperative period, and 35.1% of the patients presented complete remission during the final period of the study. Conclusion: sensory changes occurred in about half of the patients, due to the fracture, increasing greatly in the postoperative period, with complete remission in about one third of the cases. The fracture type, degree of displacement and surgical access type influenced the occurrence of sensory alterations.