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Dentistry/nerve damage


I had 4 in-plants to my lower left side 11 months ago and straight after my jaw and lip were numb, I was told to wait a few months and the feeling would come back. After 6 months I went to get the second stage of my in plants and I am really happy with the final teeth but the numbness still persist. I have since had two CT scans and my dentist says everything is fine and the in plants are not touching any nerves and the feeling will come back with time. I can live with this numbness but what my concern is when I look in the mirror and kiss my lips together I can see the nerve from the corner of my mouth down to the side of my chin and it is raised and this is what is causing me the trouble, is this a nerve that is damaged through the implants and should I get the in-plants out or wait to see if it heals over time, it is no better now than it was 11 months ago.

Sammy -  First of all, what you see when you purse your lips to together is not a nerve, but actually those areas are just due to muscular influences from the muscles surrounding the lips and infiltrating your lips.  The doctor who placed the implants should have been more concerned with your numbness after placing the implants.  Any continued numbness usually involves either a drilling into the nerve when creating the pathway for the implant in the bone.  The numbness could also have occurred from the actual placement of the implant it if touched or compressed the nerve.  So initially, the doctor should have backed out the implants.  

So now that it is 11 months later and no apparent change to numbness has occurred, the damage to the nerve and the numbness might be permanent.  Removing the implants after 11 months and a fusion of the implants to the bone can be done, but it can be very traumatic and now it may not change the numbness, if those nerves have been damaged.  Reversal would have best been attempted within the first two months after the problem occurred.

So what now?  I am really not sure.  You don't say the type of doctor who placed the implants, but you actually need to be evaluated now by a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who most likely should have placed the implants initially.

If you have more questions, feel free to contact me 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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