Long-Term Outcome of Trigeminal Nerve Injuries Related to Dental Treatment

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0440, USA.
Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery: official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Impact Factor: 1.28). 05/2011; 69(9):2284-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.02.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is little information available on the long-term effects on patients of permanent involvement of the inferior alveolar or lingual nerve because of dental treatment. This study has attempted to document this information from patients who were reviewed between 3 and 9 years after injury.
All patients with an ICD-9 diagnosis of 951.2 (injury to the trigeminal nerve) because of dental treatment, seen in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2006, were contacted in an attempt to complete a telephone survey of long-term effects.
Of the 727 patients who were eligible for the study, 145 patients (95 female and 50 male) completed the telephone surveys. Many patients had sought both conventional and alternative treatments after consultation at University of California, San Francisco. A small number of patients had undergone subsequent surgery elsewhere. Many patients reported significant life changes, including adverse effects on employment (13%), relationship changes (14%), depression (37%), problems speaking (38%), and problems eating (43%). In general, however, patients reported improvement over time, often using a number of different coping mechanisms. Males had a greater decrease in symptoms than females, and those older than 40 years reported more pain in the long term than those under 40. Lingual nerve symptoms improved more than inferior alveolar nerve symptoms.
Although most patients continue to have long-term problems that affect the overall quality of life, for most patients there has been improvement in symptoms over time.

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