Trigeminal Foundation

Nerve Injuries

Helping to prevent, educate and manage

Trigeminal nerve injuries referral

The trigeminal nerve is the large sensory nerve that supplies feeling to your face, mouth, eyes, nose and scalp. Trigeminal nerve injury can sometimes result from dental treatments such as dental injections, root canals, insertion of dental implants and removal of teeth or other surgical treatments. These dental injuries affect the trigeminal nerve usually the lower lip or tongue areas— causing a mixture of pain, numbness and strange sensations that may be present all the time or intermittently.

Trigeminal nerve injuries can be extremely distressing for patients. Although the majority of patients regain normal sensation and function within a few weeks or months, some are left with abnormal sensation or pain, which can cause problems with speech and chewing.

Some of these nerve injuries require urgent treatment

Urgent treatment (within 30 hours) is indicated in endodontic (root canal) and implant related nerve injuries (link to how to get referral / proforma / contact pages).

Ideally referral is recommended based on the cause of injury

Refferal of Trigeminal nerve injury

Download proforma

How to report your nerve injruy


Urgent referrals

  • suspected nerve section    immediately
  • endo root canal                   > 24-48 hours
  • implant                                  > 24-48 hours
  • wisdom teeth if lip nerve is injured or the tooth roots are retained we like to assess the patient within  2 weeks

Non urgent referrals the timing of consultation is lees important but we try to see most patients within   4-6 weeks of referral

  • implant nerve injuries                     > 4 days
  • root canal endo injuries                 > 4 days
  • wisdom tooth tongue nerve           > 3-6 months
  • injection or local anaesthetic nis  > 3-6 months
  • orthognathic                                     > 3-6months
  • fracture                                              > 3-6months

If you have had surgery or dental treatment and you notice any of the effects listed above after a local anaesthetic should have worn off – say 6 hours later – it is really you seek advice from the surgeon/hospital/dentist.

With any nerve injury you may ask your dentist to prescribe you short term high dose steroids and anti inflammatory medication to minimise inflammation around the damaged nerve or elect to take some folic acid supplements, but there is no evidence base to support this practise.

How you can get referred to us

You will need your dentist or your doctor to send or fax through a referral letter addressed to tara renton to our department (fax number 0203 299 1210). The letter or fax must contain your doctors /dentist name, address and contact details, your name, date of birth, address and contact details (also your nhs number). The cause and duration of your nerve injury must be clear

If you have had lip nerve injury related to implant treatment or root canal you may need urgent treatment. Other types of nerve injuries require less urgent management.

Once you have been referred to us we will send you a login and password to enter the patient resource area of this website so that you can supply us with;

  • your details
  • information about your pain,
  • daily function
  • and we ask you to complete some questionnaire online about how you are affected psychologically.

We will send you an appointment to see tara renton on clinic at kings college hospital in the clinic.

Before you come to clinic make sure that you have any relevant letters, results of tests and copies of xrays and scans for us to look at.

Contact details of department link to contact page link

Are you having difficulty being referred? If your dentist or doctor is reluctant to refer you. You can attend the dental a&e walk in clinic at kings college hospital open 9am – 2pm weekdays but your full consultation will not take place until a later date.

How long will a referral take?

If you need urgent treatment we will contact you and your dentist directly to ensure you get the right treatment. So ensure you give us your correct details

Normal referrals will result in a consultation with 2-6 weeks