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Oral Surgery/tightness in teeth


QUESTION: Just another quick followup if you dont mind. Could it be that the tightness i feel in those 4 lower right teeth is more of a result of the implant  itself than the damage to the nerve. Im trying to find a case online where someone has this same tightness in the teeth but what im finding is more just the numbness in the gums lips and chin. I can live with that but this tightness is really killing me. I dont know how an implant alone can cause tightness in the surrounding teeth? My other ones didnt.

ANSWER: Mike - when there is an injury to the mandibular nerve or any other sensory nerve, the altered sensations or complete numbness of the area can be interpreted by different injured parties differently.  I am not saying that what you feel of tightness is incorrect.  In fact, that type of sensation is possible with an injury.  So tightness is definitely possible.  An injured nerve often gives off altered sensations.  

An implant alone, however, can produce a sensation of tightness if the hole in the bone for the implant was slightly narrow and the placement of the implant cause an internal stretch feeling in the bone and "tightness".  Some implants when placed have a passive lack of sensations, while others are felt and tightness is one of the sensations stated by the patient.

So what you are going through is not abnormal.  Is the tightness from the tightness of the implant in bone or is it from an altered sensation produced by the injury of the nerve?  I cannot say, but as long as your dentist says the area is healthy and the implant is healing, I think I would suggest you wait to see if the tightness sensation lessens.  You can also see a neurologist to see if they can suggest a medication to lessen the tightness.

I wish you well and hope you feel better soon.

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QUESTION: Just one more thing if you dont mind. It has been 3 weeks now since the surgery and the nerve damage occured. Is it possible there could still be inflammation due to the damaged nerve or does the inflammation occur only in the initial stages of the nerve damage? If there is no inflammation then there is no point in continuing to take the Ibuprofen. Just wondering
Thanks Mike

Mike - there can be a number of causes for inflammation.  I, of course, cannot tell you if the altered feelings are due to the implant or the surrounding teeth are producing inflammation.  it is important for the surgeon to continue to follow and examine you.  Sometimes situations develop that can be seen on xrays or produce situations that can be seen from an exam, that might be producing the symptoms.  

So keep the area followed closely by the surgeon.  I wish you well and hope it gets better soon.  As for the medication, you can stop it and see if the situation improves on its own or stays.  That is important for a proper diagnose.  Again I wish you well.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon 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 practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at 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 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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