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Dentistry/lingual nerve damage


How can I tell if a lingual nerve injury ( numbness of 1/2 of tongue and loss of taste) that occurred almost one year ago following anesthesia for root canal was caused by negligent technique?

Raymond -  It is very difficult to determine the cause one year later or even at the time if no surgery was performed in the area of the nerve.  Many of these problems occur from the injection of the local anesthetic to make the tooth being worked on numb.  The problem of negligence, if this is the cause, is difficult to prove.  The nerve is not visualized and is positioned in different positions, to some extent, in every person.  So an injection in the region might perforate the nerve and damage it.  

Is the cause from negligence?  No, but every patient should be advised in advance of a chance of nerve damage from novocaine injections.

Any further questions, feel free to get back to me.  


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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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