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Dentistry/numb lower lip and left part of the jaw after the root canal surgery


Dear Dr. Finnk,

I had a root canal surgery in January 2014 on my molar. Ever since my lower lip and the left side of the jaw are numb. It feels as if it is swollen or still under anesthesia but when I look in the mirror, it looks normal. Just no feeling. When I touch them, I sort of feel them, as if it tingles a little. It's a very unpleasant feeling. The periodontist who performed the surgery, at first said that the feeling will come back after a few weeks, then she said in a few months, and finally she said it may take up to 2 years. When I asked her, if she could have severed the nerve, she said that she doesn't think so because there was not too much blood… I hate to think that it is permanent damage… Please advise what I should doTime is passing, and it is not getting better. Shall I see a neurologist or oral surgeon? Please advise what I should do. Thank you very much!

Dear Irene,

I'm sorry to hear of your trouble.

Although I know it's possible, I have never had a root canal lead to lip numbness that was permanent (thank goodness).  Have your dentist or your primary care physician refer you to a neurologist for evaluation.

Then let me know what results.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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