Generally speaking, numbness that occurs during a dental procedure is a result of damage to one of several nerves. It’s called Dental Paresthesia. It is always considered a potential consequence of Molar or Wisdom tooth removal. In much rarer instances it can be caused by injection of a local anesthetic.
Parasthesia, which is permanent, is when tissue affected by nerve trauma, such as the lip, tongue, side of the face, side of the mouth internally the inside lining of the like experience a long term or possibly a permanent numbness or pain.
While most of the time the injury to the nerve is from a slight touching or movement or bruising, sometimes it occurs if the nerve is perforated or in very rare cases is severed.
The condition and positioning of the tooth is usually the Molar or Wisdom tooth is a good indicator as to the level of risk as to the patient has. It is very important for a patient to inquire as to whether a tooth must be extracted at any given time. It is also equally important that the patient discuss with the dentist the issue as well as understand the particular risks involved. If the patient agrees to this, knowing the risks and the extraction was properly done under the circumstances, then the consequence of the damage may very well be just a bad outcome and not due to negligence. Otherwise, if there is no informed consent and there is no discussion of the risks and there is no emergency reason to extract the tooth it will greatly effect your claim.
One of the questions to ask aside from the need to have the tooth extracted is whether the nerve lies in close proximity to the tooth being removed. Another issue about which should be inquired is the surrounding tissue which may or may not be manipulated during the extraction has a risk of being damaged.
The tooth itself sometimes is forced against the nerve in an extraction process or the instruments used may cause the problem. Most cases involve damage to the Lingual nerve. Sometimes the nerve which is involved is the Inferior Alveolar nerve. In extremely unusual cases the Maxillary nerve which provide service aspects to the upper jaw may be affected. Sometimes the Trigeninal nerve is also in play.
In the event of a difficult extraction, many people choose to have an oral surgeon, who’s also a dentist due the extraction. His training exceeds that of a general dentist and his practice involves a great deal of extractions. This is one reason why general dentist refer these extractions to which will be difficult to an oral surgeon.
It is thought that the risk accompanying extractions increases as a person ages. One of the causes for this many times is that the Wisdom tooth is an impacted Wisdom tooth or a covered by bone. In the event of a nerve severance it is important to see an oral surgeon as soon as possible. This oral surgeon should be one who specializes in nerve repair and diagnosis. Many times the longer you wait the greater the chances are that you will have permanent injury.
Again, if you have experienced any of these please give us a call so we might discuss the matter with you and determine if there is a legal remedy for your problem.