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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can a lingual nerve be repaired? If so, how successfully?

    Related Topic
    What are the chances that nerve will repair by leaving it alone
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

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    Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    Lingual nerve injury is a complication most often associated with wisdom teeth removal.

    It occurs because, in the region of the wisdom tooth, the lingual nerve often lies very close to the gum and thin bone that lies just on the inside of the crown and root of the wisdom tooth.

    The lingual nerve itself supplies taste and sensation to the front 2/3 rds of the tongue. So if you have a lingual nerve injury, it can mean that half your tongue, from side to tip, is both profoundly numb, and devoid of the sense of taste. It can be a devastating injury.

    The rate of lingual nerve injury from wisdom teeth removal has been studied in dental colleges and University centres around the world. It is commonly quoted as a random 0.25%-1% chance, with at least half of these incidences reported as a “permanent” effect.

    But the real chance (or risk) of you developing a lingual nerve injury is as dependent upon your own personal anatomy (which is random), as upon the expertise of the individual that is performing your wisdom tooth surgery (which is not random, as you determine who treats you).

    If you are to prevent a lingual nerve injury from your wisdom tooth removal, the single most effective means of prevention comes with seeking the most expert and experienced clinician to remove your wisdom tooth… and that will normally be a registered and trained specialist.

    So always check credentials.

    But if you already have a lingual nerve injury, then what chance is there that repair can occur? What is the chance that an operation will fix, or reverse the lingual nerve damage, when the cause of it was itself unpredictable, or because of medical misadventure?

    The answer to this has been explored in depth in surgical research papers, looking at both the effectiveness of preventing for lingual nerve injury, as well as for assessing the chance of success of various operations to correct lingual nerve damage when it occurs.

    Can a lingual nerve be repaired? Well that all depends on how it was damaged, by whom, how long ago, and the expertise and experience of the person performing the operation at repair.

    And what is the overall assessment? The answer is probably no. It can't be repaired.

    http://www.profilo.com.au

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    Jaffar Dental - Trusted and Established since 1997. We are a family owned General Dental Practice offering a friendly and caring environment in Waterford QLD. … View Profile

    Very difficult to repair if it's been fully severed during surgery. If it's just a crush injury, normally time will allow proper full healing.

  • 3

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    Jessie Ranger

    HealthShare Member

    It's definitely debilitating. And corrective surgery doesn't always help... even from the best. I'm not a dentist. Just someone who had the LN completely severed, went through a long surgery with a painful recovery. Only to almost feel the exact same as before. My corrective surgeon was the best, but every time you talk, chew or brush your teeth you think of and feel (or don't feel) your injury. 

  • Wassim Omar

    HealthShare Member

    Hello, I had my wisdom tooth surgery last thursday, unfortunately the right part of my tongue is still numb. The dentists, neurologists told to wait and give it some time to heal. Ive been searching all over the internet abt the lingual nerve injury.

    please help me!!! Tell me abt it.

  • 1

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    Diana Sandiego

    HealthShare Member

    Hello Jessie,

    How long after the teeth extraction did you do the surgery?

    Could you give me more details about it. Im considering to do it too.

  • 2

    Thanks

    Diana Sandiego

    HealthShare Member

    Hello Jessie,

    How long after the teeth extraction did you do the surgery?

    Could you give me more details about it. Im considering to do it too.

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