The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for the placement of dental implants in the lower jaw. A nerve repositioning procedure is limited to the lower jaw and may be indicated when teeth are missing in the area of the two back molars and/or second premolars. This procedure is considered a very aggressive approach since there is almost always some postoperative numbness of the lower lip and jaw area, which typically dissipates very slowly, but may be permanent. Usually other, less aggressive options are considered first such as bone grafting procedures.
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To perform nerve re-positioning, we remove an outer section of the bone on the side of the lower jaw bone to expose the nerve and vessel canal. We then isolate the nerve and vessel bundle in that area and slightly pull it out to the side. We then place the dental implants while tracking the neuro-vascular bundle to a new lateral position. The surgical access is refilled with bone graft material and the area is closed.
These procedures may be performed separately or together depending upon the individual’s condition. As stated earlier, there are several areas of the body that are suitable for attaining bone grafts. We most commonly use PRGF and a bone graft product. Native bone can be taken from several adjacent areas in the jaw – usually in the same surgical site.
In many cases, we can use allograft (human bone product) material to implement bone grafting for dental implants. This bone is used to induce your own bone to grow into the repair site. It is quite effective and very safe. Synthetic materials can also be used to stimulate bone formation.
These surgeries are performed right in our office under the comfort of IV sedation or general anesthesia. We are very well trained in delivering your treatment comfortable and carefully.