Injury to a nerve is the most common problem I encounter as an Atlanta Dental Malpractice Attorney. This type of injury is caused by the implant being too long for the application or being screwed too far into the bone and compromising the inferior alveolar nerve canal.
Unfortunately, this type of dental nerve damage is almost always permanent. While damage to skin tissue or bone often heals, the same cannot be said for nerve injuries. This underscores the need to avoid the malpractice that causes these injuries in the first place by, for instance, not relying solely on x-rays (which sometimes lack the clarity needed to know the exact distance to the nerve canal). There are a number of more advanced and more accurate tests that can be performed prior to conducting dental procedures that place the inferior alveolar nerve, mental nerve and lingual nerve in danger. Often, the dental malpractice standard of care requires that these tests be performed prior to the procedure to protect against damaging these nerves. In addition, the standard of care requires a number of procedures to be performed after the dental procedure to ensure, despite the dentist’s best efforts and proper pre-procedure planning and testing, that the nerve has not been injured.
In addition the resulting numbness, many patients suffer from debilitating pain. Many find this hard to comprehend (i.e., how can I be numb and have severe pain at the same time in the same area). Suffice to say that the interaction between the central nervous system and sensory nerves are extremely complicated and that there is a very complicated medical explanation, but we can leave it at: it is possible and it does happen to many of my clients who are the victims of dental malpractice while undergoing dental implant procedures.
Some treatments that have provided partial relief from pain secondary to dental implant nerve damage are: near-infrared therapy, stellate ganglion block, medication, and surgery. Many of my clients have suffered greatly with the pain from this type of injury. It has been my experience that surgery, while hopeful, rarely can reconnect the nerve and result in full recovery. In fact, reconnection can sometimes lead to increased pain due to the complex anatomical structure of the inferior alveolar nerve.
Each individual and each injury is unique. What works for someone may not work for you. If you suffer from numbness and/or pain after a dental implant (surprisingly it is common to suffer from numbness and pain at the same time which seems odd to some people, but those who suffer from this injury certainly know that this is not only possible, but very common), you should seek help and advice as soon as possible. In fact, the longer you wait, the less likely a subsequent oral surgeon can help and most states have a statute of limitations for dental malpractice which limits the amount of time after you have been injured to sue for the malpractice.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.