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Minerva Stomatologica 2007 June;56(6):319-26


language: English, Italian

Peripheral neurological damage following lower third molar removal. A preliminary clinical study

Visintini E., Angerame D., Costantinides F., Maglione M.

Unit of Oral Surgery, Dentistry and Stomatology Clinic Department of Biomedicine University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy


Aim. Type of impaction and site of nerve are important risk factors of neurological damage following the lower third molar removal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the peripheral damage of lingual and lower alveolar nerves in relation to tooth angulation and radiographic proximity to the alveolar canal.
Methods. Sixty-seven consecutive patients (41 women and 26 men, mean age 29.97±14.35 years) underwent lower wisdom teeth extraction and were clinically evaluated over a one year period, checking any evidence of peripheral damage of the lower alveolar or lingual nerves. Tooth angulation and presence or absence of spongy bone between the mandibular canal and the root apex were considered; so, the patients were assigned twice to two groups: G1A (third molar in axis); G2A (third molar angulated); G1B (third molar apex adjacent to the mandibular canal); G2B (spongy bone between root apex and canal). The extraction was carried out according to a standardised technique without raising and retracting of a lingual flap. The follow-up checks were at one week, 1, 3, 6, 12 months and until any problem was solved. Statistical analysis was carried out using χ2 test.
Results. A total of two cases of temporary damage to the lingual nerve (1 case in G1A and 1 in G2A; 2 cases in G2B) and 3 cases to the lower alveolar nerve (3 cases in G2A; 1 in G1B and 2 in G2B) were discovered. No statistical differences were found. Symptoms cleared up within a maximum period of 5 months.
Conclusion. Tooth angulation and proximity to lower alveolar canal were not related to alveolar or lingual damage; the conservative surgical technique seems to be an important factor in preventing neurological complications.

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