While often portrayed as a routine procedure with minimal risks, wisdom tooth extraction procedures (also referred to as third molar extraction procedures) carry several significant risks. While undergoing the procedure itself can be painful and stressful even with proper care, having the procedure performed improperly can lead to permanent and devastating injuries.
One type of injury with serious complications is damage to the nerves near the related anatomical structures in the oral cavity. As such, dentists and oral surgeons must use extreme care while performing the procedure to ensure that a patient does not sustain an injury to the lingual and inferior alveolar nerves. This involves both care before the procedure as well as during. Before operating, the dentist or oral surgeon should perform a consultation with the patient and examination to ensure that the wisdom tooth extraction is in fact indicated. Moreover, this should be a detailed discussion regarding the benefits and risks of the procedure while also discussing any examination or imaging findings that may create complications or increased risks for the patient. During the procedure, the surgeon must exercise control of all instruments while also being sure to apply only proper force with the instruments.
Failure to perform the wisdom tooth extraction properly can lead to damage to the surrounding anatomical structures such as the lingual cortex and the nerves themselves. These injuries can involve temporary pain and numbness, but permanent injuries to nerves such as transection can result in ongoing numbness, loss of function, and permanent and ongoing neuropathic pain. Treatment can be extensive including such things as additional surgery, complex medication combinations, and ongoing pain treatment such as injections.
Lawsuits related to wisdom tooth extractions are vigorously contested and fiercely defended by attorneys and the related malpractice insurance carriers. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from an improperly performed wisdom tooth extraction, you may wish to contact an attorney to discuss the claim and potential additional care. A timely diagnosis and prompt action is essential in claims involving nerve damage. The attorneys at Hansen Dordell have worked with patients who have been wrongfully harmed due to improper dental procedures including negligently performed wisdom tooth extractions. If you have any questions, please contact Hansen Dordell by email or phone – www.hansendordell.com / (651) 482-8900.
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