Possible Consequences of Sensory Nerve Injury: Dysesthesia

No form of surgery is without certain inherent risks, and that includes dental surgery. There is always the potential for complications to arise in response to the materials that are used during the surgical procedure, the anesthetics, other medications, unique anatomy, physiology, and your own existing health conditions.

Prior to the surgical procedure, your oral surgeon will certainly make every reasonable attempt to prepare for a healthy outcome, and will communicate with you about the potential risks and benefits. In most cases, surgery will only be performed when the benefits can be proven to outweigh the risks. Still, it’s important to be aware of the possibility that an unforeseen development could occur so that you can be prepared for what comes next.

For example, the vast majority of procedures involving the surgical removal of wisdom teeth can be performed smoothly and without incident. However, there is a risk that the removal of these teeth could result in unanticipated nerve damage. 

Prior to the surgical procedure, your oral surgeon will certainly make every reasonable attempt to prepare for a healthy outcome, and will communicate with you about the potential risks and benefits.

A type of sensory nerve injury known as dysesthesia, which literally means “abnormal sensation” and is often used to refer to unpleasant and painful sensation, can sometimes be seen following the extraction of the lower wisdom teeth. These teeth are located quite close to the nerve pathway that is responsible for your ability to feel normal sensations. Should that nerve pathway be disrupted during the surgical procedure, you may experience an unpleasant or uncomfortable sensation that is temporary, extended, or sustained.

Patients who suffer from this condition frequently report feelings of pain, burning, electric shock, wetness, tingling, numbness, or coldness. The degree of the discomfort can range from minimal to debilitating, and it generally occurs spontaneously.

Most patients who experience dysesthesia can expect a full or dramatically improved recovery with time.  Improvement is slow, however, and can take many months to over a year.

During your initial consultation, be sure to discuss your risk for a sensory nerve injury, and mention any abnormal sensations during your post-operative follow up visit. Being fully informed as you enter into a surgical procedure is the best way to be prepared for all possible outcomes. Find out more by contacting the ORA office of Dr. Steven Koos DDS, MD at 312-328-9000 to arrange your consultation today.