The dental implant process sometimes may require additional steps to provide the best results possible for your experience. One such measure is nerve repositioning, where a nerve may need to move in order to create enough space for your new implant. Often this situation occurs because of bone loss in the lower jaw due to a previous extraction or a lost tooth that did not have socket preservation performed afterward.
The inferior alveolar is one such nerve, and it plays an important role in creating sensation and feeling to your lower lip and chin. So it’s imperative to preserve its functionality by surgically relocating it out of the way of incoming dental implant posts.
Why Do I Need Nerve Repositioning?
It isn’t uncommon to experience bone loss after having a tooth extraction without socket preservation performed. This missing mass causes the alveolar to become too close to the implant surgery area and risks potentially becoming damaged if not moved. To avoid ongoing pain or unusual numbness, it’s necessary to reposition this important nerve.
Your trusted oral surgeon or dentist will fully evaluate your current bone structure to determine if it’s strong enough to support a dental implant. For patients that require insertion of support posts in the back region of the lower jaw, and there is not enough space for both the implant and the nerve, repositioning may occur.
While this is an invasive procedure, it’s sometimes necessary to help dental implant candidates avoid future complications. It’s not uncommon to experience temporary numbness in the lower lip and chin after this treatment.
How Is Nerve Repositioning Done?
Nerve repositioning requires removal of a small section of gum tissue near the lower side of your jawbone to access the nerve canal. Once we expose it, we can move it to the side, out of the dental implant area. Typically, we can also place your new support post during the same procedure and then patch up the operative space with bone graft materials.
Grafting helps further stimulate your jawbone to produce more bone, which will increase the support surrounding your new implant. If your own material is not available, synthetic bone graft products or human originated allograft are also options to help encourage growth and strengthening of the surrounding jawbone. You will only need a few sutures to close up the surgical site once these steps are complete.
Repositioning of the alveolar nerve is an outpatient surgery that requires IV or general sedation. Once in recovery and sent home, you can expect to rest for at least a day and limit your physical activities for the following week. Your oral surgeon will have you back in for a follow-up to check on healing and make sure that the bone graft is working.
Rely On A Skilled New Jersey OMF Surgeon
Despite our best efforts, it’s not always possible to save our natural teeth from permanent damage that requires extraction. Fortunately, we have options like dental implants to replace our lost tooth and continue using our mouths normally, even if it means repositioning a nerve and/or grafting in additional bone for strength. Nerve repositioning of the alveolar is an invasive procedure, but not as daunting as it sounds.
Choosing the best New Jersey oral and maxillofacial surgeon is vital when undergoing such a procedure to ensure the best technique and care for your surgical needs. At Union City Oral Surgery, our office offers cutting-edge care and the latest dental advancements. Our OMF surgeon, Dr. Nancy Herbst, has more than 25 years of dental surgery experience. Her dedication to exceptional patient care that is compassionate and comfortable has earned her recognition as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists in 2019.
Contact our office at (201) 601-9262 to learn more about how we can help you today.