Do Dental Implants and Drilling Affect Brain Nerves?

Just like any kind of surgery, dental implants poses some risk of complications that can worry patients. An example of this complication is damage to the mandibular nerve that leads to a change in facial muscle sensitivity. Although rare, nerve damage is a very possible complication. This is one of the reasons why it is important that you carefully choose your implant dentist.


What Causes Nerve Damage?


You have nerves in all parts of your body, including your jaw. There is a risk of nerve injury during surgery; one very serious possible nerve injury is to the inferior alveolar nerve or IAN. From the trigeminal nerve, this nerve branches from the mandibular nerve and travels to through the jaw and below the teeth. This places it as a high risk of injury during a dental implant surgery.


There are several ways for the IAN and other brain nerves to get damaged in the surgery; one of which is during the injection of anesthesia. There are also times where the root of the tooth is very close or even touching the nerve, leading to damage during extraction. Damage can also happen during the preparation of the socket to receive the dental implant or during the actual placement of the implant.


What are the Kinds of Nerve Damage?


When nerve damage happens, the case is not usually serious and will only result to a temporary injury. Most of the time, the nerve is only disturbed and become inflamed, but it is not actually damaged. Once the inflammation subsides in a few weeks or even a few months, any altered sensation will just return to normal. Below are a few potential types of possible nerve damage.


  • Analgesia – Refers to the lack of pain sensation
  • Anesthesia – Refers to the lack of sensation
  • Dyasthesia – Refers to the experience of an unpleasant sensation
  • Hypothesia – Refers to the feeling of reduced sensation
  • Paresthesia – Refers to the presence of a seemingly unusual sensation


Choosing a Good Implant Dentist


Pick an experienced dentist to do the procedure on you. An expert dentist can help minimize the risks involved in the dental implant procedure. Before you agree to the actual procedure, it is important that you talk to your dentist and ask about their training on the procedure as well as their level of expertise. Make sure that you are getting the best possible care.



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