Oral Surgery/23 year old with lingual nerve damage!
Hello Dr Teig, I am writing about my daughter. She is 23 and had wisdom tooth extraction almost 4 months ago..we live in California and have seen a surgeon and he confirmed that she has little, if no feeling in the right side of her tongue also she has no taste sensation! ! I know there are not many Drs that do lingual nerve repair and I was wanting to get your advice on who is the "best" in the US. I have read much about a Dr Bagheri out of Georgia...he seems to have very good results. There is also a Dr out of UCLA, a Dr Freymiller. Dr. Bagheri's opinions statistically, with regard to a good post surgical outcome seem to be better than Freymiller's, quite a bit better. Curious, how can two Drs have such different opinions?? We are willing to travel in order to find the most experienced Dr in lingual nerve repair, but as you know time is of the essence. By the way, in my research on the wait time after the injury to the nerve ranges from three months to nine. Dr Bagheri indicates that a patient can wait up to nine months. I will anxiously await your response! Thank you. Cynthia
Cynthia - Let me first tell you that I am a very conservative doctor and the repair of nerve injuries should be done as soon as possible. Saying that, initially after the injury, it is important to wait almost two months before any active treatment is advised. During those two months, often there are changes in the sensation, with itchiness, burning or evening shocks, showing that the nerve is at least partially intact. Since your daughter has no taste sensation, I must ask if she also has complete numbness of the right side of her tongue. If not, then there is some hope for the nerve without surgery.
The studies have shown that earlier repair has a better chance of producing functional sensory function. That is taste regaining and numbness decreasing.
Dr Freymiller is a very knowledgeable and skilled surgeon, but Dr. Bagheri is known for his success rate for lingual nerve repairs. Many surgeons throughout the country refer to him for his skills. So I think that Dr. Bagheri most likely is the best choice. I do not recommend a nine month wait and suggest it be done as soon as possible to hopefully regain all lost sensations.