Oral and maxillofacial surgery| Volume 115, ISSUE 1, P18-24, January 2013

The relative risk of neurosensory deficit following removal of mandibular third molar teeth: the influence of radiography and surgical technique

Published:August 24, 2012DOI:


      The aim of this study was to identify the relative risk of damage to the inferior dental (ID) and lingual nerves in patients undergoing lower third molar removal.

      Study Design

      A single surgeon reviewed 1,000 patients.


      Temporary ID neurosensory deficit was highest (11%) when root apices were intimate to the ID nerve and lowest (0.9%) when close or distant from the nerve. Permanent ID neurosensory deficit was 0.4% per tooth but only when intimate to the canal. Bone removal, tooth division, and lingual split technique increase the risk of excessive hemorrhage which appears to be linked to the highest risk of temporary ID neurosensory deficit (20%). Permanent lingual nerve injury was rare (0.06%) and not related to lingual retraction.


      Preoperative warning for lower third molar removal can be individually tailored depending on the intimacy of the ID canal to the root apices and the anticipated surgical technique.
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