I recently got several implants on the bottom right side and it was quite possibly the worst experience I have ever had! It started out with my appointment being almost an hour behind and ended with me feeling like I literally got beat up. In between, I was jammed with a needle without any numbing gel — almost jolting me out of the chair. Then I lay there for what felt like hours as my dentist drilled, tugged and pulled. At times I felt like running away! Three days later, I expected to be sore, but what is bothering me most is my tongue. It’s completely numb! I thought it would go away, but it hasn’t. Did the dentist do this to me with all the poking and prodding or is it the implants themselves? If I’m going to have to live with this, I’d rather have them taken out. Help! — Salvatore
Unfortunately, nerve damage can be a side effect of any dental procedure. Given the location of the dental implants, and where the injection was given, it’s likely that your lingual nerve is damaged – probably from the injection. Many people describe it as a jolt when it hits the nerve. For injections, the doctor typically looks for standard landmarks and uses his best judgment as to where the nerves might be so they are avoided, but no two people are alike and it’s nearly impossible to be 100% accurate. It really couldn’t have been avoided.
In most cases, this type of nerve damage isn’t severe because the needle is very small. The nerve should regenerate and heal. For most, it takes about three weeks, but there are times when it can last up to 18 months or even be permanent.
Definitely call your dentist and get back in for exam. He might prescribe an anti-inflammatory med, recommend a specialist or just monitor your progress over a few weeks. Keep the implants and try to be be patient as you to make a full recovery.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.