Keeping your oral health in good standing is an important step to take when trying to live a healthy and happy life. Sometimes this doesn't always mean saving all of your natural teeth, however, which is a mistake that many patients make. While it is always preferable to save natural teeth if possible, sometimes the best option available is to extract a tooth and opt for a dental implant at some point in the future. This means that you should educate yourself about some of the preparation that must be done when looking at dental implant surgery. Some of these, like nerve repositioning, can seem like daunting procedures – but at Canyon Oral & Facial Surgery, we understand how to best approach the procedure in order to pursue your best interests.
What is nerve repositioning?When going through the dental implant process, it is important to recognize that sometimes the inferior alveolar nerve – the nerve that provides feeling to your chin and lower lip – might need to be moved in order to give adequate room to the implants. This is a fairly aggressive option that is perhaps not our first choice, but there are some patients that are simply good candidates for the procedure. If you are a good candidate and we believe the surgery is likely to be a success, then we will reposition this particular nerve so that it sits further away from the implant in question before we actually insert the implant.
What is the nerve repositioning process like?We generally remove a section of the cheek on the side of your lower jawbone. This serves to expose the vessel and nerve canal. Once we successfully isolate the nerve, we pull it out to the side slightly. When we then go to place the dental implants, we will also track the neuro-vascular bundle in order to ensure that it does not get buried or misplaced. When the implants have been successfully placed, the bundle is then placed back into position and everything is stitched up. The area where we accessed the nerve will also be filled with some kind of bone graft material before it is closed.
Why would my nerve need to be repositioned?When teeth are extracted and no socket preservation is done, it is very common for the tissue and bone that used to hold the missing tooth in place to disappear. It breaks down because it no longer has a purpose to serve, in other words, and this can leave the nerve a little too close to the surface when undergoing dental implant surgery. In these instances, we must move the nerve in question in order to successfully place dental implants without triggering lasting pain for the patients. Note that this is usually only an issue when it comes to dental implants that need to be inserted in the very back of the mouth, as those teeth are the closest to the nerve.
For more information about dental implants and nerve repositioning, please give us a call today! Centennial Hills: (702) 660-5574, Summerlin: (702) 660-5576