If your dentist recommends a tooth extraction, you generally do not give it a second thought. It seems fairly routine and there can be many reasons why a tooth extraction will be in your best interests. Unfortunately, however, there can be some severe side effects of tooth extractions gone wrong. Nerve damage, for example, is one of the most common injuries that result from bad tooth extractions and it can be extremely painful to endure.
There are many reasons why a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. If you have a tooth that has sustained trauma or other extensive damage such as decay, repairing the tooth may not be an option and extraction is necessary. There are also instances where a tooth is poorly positioned to the point that it can have adverse impact on your oral health. In these cases, a dentist may also recommend extraction. Extraction is also common in orthodontic treatment. Tooth extraction may be necessary so that there is added space for the teeth to properly realign. Additionally, tooth extraction is also common in those individuals who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy weakens a person’s immune system. That puts them at heightened risk of things such as tooth infections and may require tooth extraction.
Tooth extraction is a delicate procedure as the mouth has a concentrated network of nerves and is a relatively small space. With tooth extractions, the inferior alveolar nerve as well as the lingual nerve are particularly vulnerable to damage and are the most frequently damaged nerves in dental procedures. It is most commonly injured in cases of wisdom teeth removal. The lingual nerves go across the tongue. Should the lingual nerve sustain damage, the patient may experience a loss of taste sensation or altered taste. There is also the possibility that the tongue will go numb or the patient may experience a change in mouth sensations. Damage to the lingual nerve may also impair speech. Damage to the lingual nerve can also cause the patient a great deal of pain. Some experience a painful burning sensation.
The inferior alveolar nerve is the nerve that runs under the bottom teeth. It is the nerve responsible for creating sensations in the lower teeth as well as the lower gums, lower lip, and chin. If a dental procedure involves the lower teeth, the inferior alveolar nerve may sustain damage. Damage to this nerve may also occur due to a bad wisdom teeth extraction. Those who sustain damage to the inferior alveolar nerve may experience numbness in the lips, gums, and the chin. The patient may also experience a tingling sensation. Others report experiencing a burning ache after sustaining this type of nerve damage.
Like all other medical professionals, dentists have duty to patients to uphold a standard of care that works to prevent patients from needlessly suffering harm. Generally speaking, this standard of care requires a dentist to exercise the level of care that a similarly situated dentist would exercise under similar circumstances. If your dentist failed to use the requisite standard of care in your tooth extraction and you sustained nerve damage as a result, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. In fact, nerve damage is one of the leading causes of dental malpractice claims being pursued. In a successful medical malpractice claim, you can receive compensation for the harm you have suffered, including financial harm such as medical bills and the costs associated with future medical treatment. Get an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side who will fight for you and your right to be fully and fairly compensated for the losses you have sustained.