When it comes to working with the jaw, lip, and teeth there is limited space to work and many times sinuses or nerves can be too close to the area that must be worked on. Because of this, it may be necessary to reposition the nerves in order to make room for your dental implants.
The alveolar nerve sits in the lower jaw area and is the nerve that provides feeling to the lower lip and chin. When implants are being placed in the lower jaw, this procedure may be necessary to prevent issues associated with the placing of dental implants.
How The Procedure Works
Repositioning the nerve is an aggressive approach to handling the nerve area when implants are needed near the back lower molars or premolars. We often consider other preferred options before turning to this approach. It is common after this procedure to experience numbness in the lower lip and jaw area. The numbness typically dissipates, but could potentially be permanent.
The operation is performed by exposing the nerve through the cheek area near the lower jawbone. The nerve can then be isolated and repositioned. While the nerve is out of the way, the implants are placed so that the neuro-vascular nerve bundle can be monitored. Once the implants are placed, the nerve bundle is released back to its place.
The cheek area that was used to access the nerves is filled with bone graft material and closed by the surgeon. The surgeon typically chooses the bone graft material used but you can refer to our “About Bone Grafting” page for more specific information regarding bone grafts.
This type of procedure is often performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. This is an outpatient procedure. For recovery after the procedure, it is recommended that you utilize one day of bed rest and limit physical activity for one full week.