Prevention and management
Minimising and managing nerve injuries in dental surgical procedures
by Tara Renton
The most significant complications from dental surgical interventions are iatrogenic trigeminal nerve injuries, which can result in permanent altered sensation and pain, causing considerable functional and psychological disability. This paper provides some useful tips on
minimising the risks of these injuries. By understanding the risk factors and modifying the resulting intervention, more of these injuries may be prevented.
The removal of mandibular third molars (M3Ms) is a common surgical procedure and – as with all surgical procedures – there is a risk of opera- tive and postoperative complications. Overall, the rate of complications is reported to be 3.47%, though these vary in severity. Known risk factors for poor surgical outcomes in rela- tion to M3M surgery are: surgical dif- ficulty, older age, poor oral hygiene and smoking.