A large part of my Atlanta personal injury law practice is devoted to dental nerve injuries. Unfortunately, many clients who have been injured after going to the dentist find themselves with little hope of recovery. As indicated by this article by well-regarded micro-neurosurgeon, Shahrokh Bagheri, whether surgery can provide relief depends largely upon the age of the patient and the length of time between the injury and the attempted corrective surgery. In other words, if you are young, and your lingual nerve was injured less than 9 months ago, you are a good candidate for microsurgical repair.
Lingual nerve injury is a complication most often associated with wisdom teeth extraction or other dental procedures that require administration of local anesthetics. In the case of lingual nerve damage secondary to tooth extractions, it occurs because, in the region of the wisdom tooth, the lingual nerve often lies very close to the gum and thin bone known as the lingual plate that lies just on the inside of the crown and root of the wisdom tooth. If the extraction is done below the standard of care and the lingual plate is fractured, the lingual nerve is exposed to trauma from the extraction.
The lingual nerve itself supplies taste and sensation to the front two-thirds of the tongue. So if you have a lingual nerve injury, half of your tongue, could be both profoundly numb, and devoid of the sense of taste. In addition, you could suffer from pain caused by the nerve injury. It can be a devastating injury which can negatively impact ones life and is sometimes permanent.
Repair of dental nerves in the facial region can be done if the diagnosis is made in a timely fashion. These repairs are usually performed by a maxillofacial reconstruction expert of a microneurosurgeon. The sooner the repair is attempted, the more likely the repair will be successful. However, the microneurosurgeon does not want to operate too soon, as intervention is to be avoided if the nerve will regenerate on its own without surgical intervention. Obviously, this is the best scenario, but not always possible.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling dental malpractice, medical malpractice, car accident cases and premises injury cases 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. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities 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 discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.
Many lingual nerve injuries are caused by dental malpractice. If you have been injured after undergoing a routine dental procedure, and wish to discuss your situation in complete confidence, contact us online or call me directly at (404) 923-7497.