Nerve Repositioning

In cases when a patient needs to have a number of missing lower back teeth replaced, but the patient’s bone mass is not tall enough for dental implants to be placed successfully, nerve repositioning or nerve lateralisation is used.

It involves the repositioning of the inferior alveolar nerve, which is the nerve that supplies feeling to a patient’s chin and lower lip areas. The movement or repositioning of inferior alveolar nerve is required, when placing of dental implants in patients who have experienced significant bone loss in the lower jaw area may become impossible without damaging the inferior alveolar nerve. This technique lets the whole height of the lower jaw to be made available for the placement of longer dental implants.

In cases when the patient has missing teeth in the back end of his lower jaw, and requires a dental implant to be placed in this particular area, nerve repositioning procedure is used. This procedure is needed when the patient doesn’t have enough bone height in the lower jaw area to support the dental implant placement, or if the quality of the bone mass in the affected area is not strong enough to secure the dental implants firmly in place.

Also this technique offers an alternative to the need for an onlay bone grafting technique. It is an advanced procedure and does carry a risk of nerve damage which may leave a patient with an altered sensation or numbness of the lower lip on surgical side. This may be permanent or transient and patients should not undergo this procedure without being prepared for this outcome.

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