Lower Jaw Surgery
The inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants. This procedure is limited to the lower jaw and indicated when teeth are missing in the area of the two back molars and/or and second premolar, with the above-mentioned secondary condition. This procedure is considered a very aggressive approach since there is almost always some postoperative numbness of the lower lip and jaw area, which dissipates only very slowly, if ever. Usually other, less aggressive options are considered first (placement of blade implants, etc.).
Typically, an outer section of the cheek side of the lower jawbone is removed in order to expose the nerve and vessel canal. The nerve and vessel bundle are then isolated and slightly pulled out to the side. The dental implant is placed and the bundle is released and positioned over the implant. The surgical access is filled with bone graft material of the surgeon’s choice and the area is closed.
These surgeries are performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and physical activity limited for one week.