Prolonged or Chronic Facial Numbness Due to Dental Malpractice
Like all areas of the body, the oral cavity contains nerves that send and receive messages to and from the brain, muscles and tissues. When dental procedures are performed, careful navigation around these nerves is needed to prevent nerve damage. When prolonged or chronic facial numbness occurs after a dental procedure, it can be a symptom of nerve damage and may have been caused by dental negligence.
The two main nerves that can be impacted during dental procedures are the lingual and inferior alveolar nerve. The lingual nerve is connected to the tongue, and damage to this nerve can cause numbness and pain in the tongue. It is usually caused by misplacement of an anesthetic injection. When the inferior alveolar nerve or IAN is damaged, it is usually during more invasive procedures like oral surgery, and this is when facial numbness can occur.
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Damage Caused by Dental Negligence
Most commonly, IAN damage happens during wisdom extractions, dental implant surgery or botched root canals. When a dental implant is placed too deep or a root canal is overfilled into the extended nerve region, this can damage the IAN. Wisdom tooth surgeries can also require dentists to be working close to the IAN, with a risk of damage. If the nerve is damaged, symptoms can include:
- Numbness in the lips, mouth, chin and lower facial region
- Tingling, pain or shocking sensation in the jaw/mouth area
- Drooling or speech impairment
If you have symptoms of IAN or other nerve damage after a dental procedure, you should seek immediate treatment. Quick treatment can prevent long-lasting or permanent damage to the nerve. However, if you do have prolonged or chronic numbness, pain or other symptoms that were caused by nerve damage due to dental negligence, contact Moriarty Injury Lawyer today to schedule a consultation. We can explore pursuing a dental malpractice case for compensation for your injuries.