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Dentistry/Delayed paresthesia following wisdom tooth extraction



I had 17 and 32 removed on 3/12/13 by an oral surgeon. The xray showed that the roots were in close proximity to my nerve canal, the surgeon said they were lingual to the canals, in fact. He said that he would do a coronectomy on both teeth and see whether or not the roots would 'wiggle' out. He was able to remove all the roots and said i would experience swelling/discomfort. It has been 9 days since, and I am still experiencing paresthesia from teeth 18-24, and on my chin and bottom lip. My lower right molar has also shifted a little bit as well.

I had a post-op consultation 3 days after the extraction and my doctor tested for normal nerve fuctioning by asking me to distinguish between vertical and horizontal brushstrokes on the area with paresthesia. I was able to distinguish between them and he said I should be fine, but I'm still worried.

Can you advise me on how long it would take for the paresthesia to dissipate? Do you think there has been any permanent nerve damage? What should I do in the meantime?

Thank you for your time!

Rachel -  the period of time until paresthesia resolves varies.  It can be as short as a few weeks, but it could last longer.  If the paresthesia is complete with no sensations, stimulating sensations like rubbing the area or a prick with a pin, then the paresthesia is more intense.  Usually if sensations like shocks, tingling or itching occur, those are signs that the nerve is sending out signals in an attempt at self healing.  If there is true complete numbness, more than two months after the injury, the area needs to be re-evaluated and treatment may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve or repair the nerve.  Most likely the area will get better within two months.

So, I am glad that you have some sensations now that were tested by the doctor, but improvement changes must continue or the cause needs to be determined.  So by 6-7 weeks after the surgery, the surgeon should evaluate the area again.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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