Dental Work, Dental Surgery, Dental Implants and Nerve Damage


How it happens and what can be done for relief

During the course of dental work and surgery it is possible that nerves may become damaged.

Young woman with dentist in a dental surgery. Healthcare, medicine.
The lingual nerve is a branc of the mandibular nerve (jaw), which is a branch of the trigeminal nerve. It supplies sensory nerves to the tongue. Damage to this nerve results in pain within the tongue and along the mucosa on tongue side of the teeth (inner buccal mucosa).

A lingual nerve injury can be caused from the anesthetic injection.

Tooth extraction is also one of the leading causes of lingual nerve and inferior alveolar nerve damage, usually at the third molars (wisdom teeth)  

Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant nerve damage is common. The reported incidence of such nerve injuries following dental implant procedures is anywhere from 0-44%. 

Sensory impairment of the skin and lining of the mouth from the branches of the trigeminal nerve is possible with dental implant surgery.


(See Diagram Above) The most common nerves injured are the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) and its mental branch, the lingual nerve, long buccal nerve and the infraobital nerve because of the anatomic location of these structures to the surgery. 

Neurosensory impairment may occur during all phases of dental implant surgery, including anesthetic administration, incisions, soft tissue being pulled back, surgical preparation for cutting of the bone, bone augmentation (bone made ready for implant), implant placement, suturing and/or soft tissue swelling after surgery. 

In addition, during dental implant surgery prolonged stretching or compression of tissue surrounding a nerve hampers circulation and can deprive the nerve of nourishment.

Other causes during Dental Surgery

Other causes of nerve damage during surgery include the scalpel, a bruise that occurs on the nerve, inflammation of the tissue around the nerve, or prolonged contact with rigid surgical equipment. In addition, prolonged stretching or compression of tissue surrounding a nerve hampers circulation and can deprive the nerve of nourishment.

These all can lead to nerve damage, which may be temporary or permanent.

In some cases the nerve damage will go away over time, as the injured portion of the nerve heals or the inflammation goes away. In other cases, the symptoms are permanent unless the nerve damage is repaired.

Symptoms of surgical nerve damage:

Symptoms include tingling or numbness in one area of the face, jaw or neck.   It may resemble “pins and needles:  It can result in pain, which is generally a severe burning pain. 

The pain that comes from post-surgical nerve damage will be treated by medical doctors with pain medication, even narcotics. 

Natural Treatment for the Nerve Damage of surgery – 

Read more about neuropathy and its treatments

What can be done for relief?

We always recommend you take the approach of building health – and nerves are no different. 

Find out how to build healthy nerves




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