Self-assessed neurological disturbances after surgical removal of impacted lower third molar: a pragmatic prospective study on 423 surgical extractions in 247 consecutive patients

Roberto Barone, Carlo Clauser, Tiziano Testori, Massimo Del Fabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the combined role of current radiographic risk indicators and patient age in predicting lower lip sensitivity disturbances after surgical removal of impacted lower third molars. The question was which combinations indicate low or high risk. Materials and methods: A prospective study was implemented involving 247 consecutive outpatients who underwent 423 surgical extractions. The predictor variables were patient age and risk indicators observed on panoramic radiographs. The outcome variable was the incidence of self-assessed lip sensitivity alterations. The extractions were subdivided into four groups according to the predictors. Results: Two hundred forty-five teeth were extracted in patients younger than 25 years and 178 in patients 25 years old or older; radiographic risk indicators were associated with 226 out of 423 teeth (53.43%). No permanent neurological damage was observed. Transient lip sensitivity alterations were observed in five cases (1.18%; 95% confidence interval = 0.4 to 2.7%), all in the older group with radiographic risk indicators. Conclusions: The data indicate a low overall incidence of transient lip sensitivity impairment that occurred only in the presence of radiographic risk indicators in patients aged ≥ 25 years. Clinical relevance: Informed consent should include the possibility of inferior alveolar nerve injury in mature patients with radiographic risk indicators. Prophylactic removal of impacted teeth with radiographic signs of risk may be indicated when the patient is not yet aged 25 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3257-3265
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Age
  • Mandibular nerve
  • Panoramic radiograph
  • Paraesthesia
  • Risk indicator
  • Third molar surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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