New York Dental malpractice lawsuits are filed for a number of reasons, including lingual nerve injuries. Lingual nerve injuries can occur as a result of oral and maxillofacial surgeries, root canal procedures, anesthetic injections, and excessive instrumentation of dental equipment.
While the lingual nerve often heals over time, damage can be permanent. Due to the lingual nerve’s anatomical location, it can be inadvertently traumatized while undergoing surgical procedures to manage trauma, salivary gland problems, oncologic conditions, and third molar removal.
Surgical removal of the third molars of the mandible are the most common cause of lingual nerve injuries, and may represent approximately 75% of patients who are affected by this problem. The distorted sensations that are common manifestations of lingual nerve injuries, such as paraesthesia or anesthesia (numbness) can result in speech impairment and chewing difficulty.
Dysesthesias can also occur, and usually present themselves as tingling or burning sensations. If you experience burning, numbness, tingling, or pain on your tongue, cheek, jaw, or chin, you may have a lingual nerve injury.
It can take up to two years before the nerve regenerates itself, however, it may recover in a matter of weeks. Some patients report chronic neurological symptoms, and a decreased quality of life, as a result.
Medications that are used in the management of neuropathy can sometimes help with lingual nerve injuries, however, they do little to regenerate the nerves. Magnesium supplements and omega-3 fatty acids have shown to provide some relief, but they should not be taken unless your doctor has approved them.
If you believe that you have sustained a lingual nerve injury as a result of a dental procedure, consider getting a second opinion from an oral surgeon or a neurologist. If follow-up examinations are conclusive for a lingual nerve injury, you may have grounds for a dental malpractice lawsuit. If you would like more information about filing a dental malpractice case, contact us anytime to learn more.