Nerve Damage with Wisdom Tooth Extraction
I had an impacted wisdom tooth removed earlier today. The procedure was difficult. He had to remove my right bottom wisdom tooth and it was resting on an alveolar nerve. First, he had to use a drill to cut the tooth in half. After that, it seemed to take forever to actually get the pieces out. I don’t know how long because I was just trying not to panic. It’s been seven hours since I’ve been home and that side of my face still feels numb. Does that mean he hit the nerve? Will there be permanent damage?
When removing impacted wisdom teeth there is always a risk of there being nerve damage. Fortunately, it does not happen very often. The numbness you are feeling, however, doesn’t mean there was. Numbness after this type of procedure can last for many hours. I’d like you to give it some more time. In the morning, if there is still numbness you can call your dentist to see if he thinks he touched the nerve.
Even if he did, don’t panic. Touching the nerve can cause numbness anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
Signs of Nerve Damage
With your alveolar nerve, you might experience some of these symptoms:
- Continuous numbness of the chin, jaw, or lower lip
- Pain or swelling in the jaw, chin or the tongue
- Tingling, tickling, or burning skin
When there is nerve damage recovery happens in 75% of patients, even without treatment, somewhere between 6 weeks up to 24 months. If in three months you are still having symptoms, you can visit an oral surgeon to check out the nerve and discuss possible treatment options.
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