Wisdom tooth extraction can be a challenging procedure to dentists especially if it’s impacted. Perhaps a common complication is nerve damage. That’s why finding the right wisdom teeth removal expert is important to make sure that complications are minimised and the tooth can be extracted with ease.
Nerve damage from wisdom tooth extraction can be triggered by nerve trauma. This is where a nerve located near the tooth has been improperly touched in various forms. This means that the nerve may have been stretched, bruised, severed or crushed.
Signs and Symptoms
Since we’re talking about nerve damage from wisdom tooth extraction, this complication results to loss or change of sensation to areas near the extracted tooth. These areas include the lips, tongue, mouth linings and even the facial skin.
The duration of this complication varies on its severity. It can last for a few days or months, and may subside even without any forms of treatment. There are rare cases though where the change is permanent.
In many cases, how the extracted tooth is positioned can lead to nerve damage. Here are two common examples.
- The roots of the tooth may lie close to the nerve that’s running through the jawbone
- There is a need to incise the soft tissues surrounding the tooth so that the tooth can be properly extracted. This leads to the nerve getting traumatized.
Causes of Nerve Damage
Irritation can be triggered if the nerve is stretched or bruised. This kind of force crushes the nerve. This occurrence can have various causes:
- It can be caused by the instruments used in the procedure. An instrument may have applied too much force as the tooth is being extracted.
- If the dentist uses hand instruments or dental drill to remove bone tissues during extraction, there’s a possibility that the nerve may have been severed.
- In many cases, a flap-like incision may have been performed to gain access to the tooth. This is another common cause of getting the nerve severed or traumatized.
Location of the Tooth
The tooth’s location is a major risk factor of nerve damage. If the risk is high, the dentist would use the x-ray to have a better visual on how the tooth is positioned. But since x-ray would just provide 2D-dimensional results, there are cases where cone beam CT scan would be used to acquire 3D results. However, resorting to 3D diagnostic tests would mean a more expensive procedure.
Treatment of Nerve Damage
Before treatment is implemented, the extent of the damage must first be evaluated. The dentist documents the type of damage and its degree. This will determine the right method to apply and whether a surgical procedure is necessary.
To assess the damage, the provider uses the light touch method in the form of a clean and small cotton ball. By brushing against the skin, areas which cannot be felt by the patient are usually the affected areas. Other methods can also be used.
If surgery is not needed, the dentist would simply prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatory or steroids.