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NUMB CHIN AND LOWER LIP
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow - that was so kind of you both to take the time to tell us so much.  My heart goes out to both of you - may God heal you quickly.  

It has been 1 year and 2 months for me today.  That may seem like a long time, but it has passed quickly.  I would say I am at about 90% healed at this point. If I hold my mouth still with my lips together I feel normal!  I can tell if I move my mouth or purse my lips - but it doesn't hurt anymore at all - it just feels tight.  When I clench my teeth together it still seems numb at my second and third teeth from the front - other than that it seems normal.

I trust that I will return to 100% - I hope and pray you all will too.

God bless my friends  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi blessed2bme52,
I am glad the time passed quickly for you.  Part of the reason I posted all I did was to help with the panic period that likely all of us went through which caused a manic search for the truth and our way to this site.  Because this is so life altering in a bad way, I wanted to put out the best information  I could find including share my personal experience.

As discussed, our injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve and/or lingual nerve are not identical.  For example, Annettes's compression to her nerve due to faulty implant depth and my stretch injury to that nerve are not the same and I presume mine will take longer to heal.  Mine was a stretch injury due to my 3rd molar aka horizontal impacted wisdom tooth sharing the same space as my IAN.  The brilliant surgeon that removed my tooth had no choice really but doesn't change the reality my IAN was injured and I like you and Starbrite are on a 1 year journey to regaining most of our health in this area.

I am so happy that most of it is behind you and hope to be in the same place eventually.  I am at one month today from my surgery and now move past the panic period of wondering if my life is ruined but rather into the s l o w l y healing phase that Annette wrote eloquently about.  I can live with the sometimes intense pain knowing that it will eventually improve along with my quality of life.

Best to all.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone! I am at eactly one year this week. I think the term "panic period" is right on target - those first couple of months are SO awful. They are filled with the initial shock, the pain, the frustration, the hope ... A myriad of emotions as well as physical issues. I have tried numerous things along the way in hopes of a 100% return to normal.
I am at about 80% also. I can always feel the tightness and sometimes it will hurt a little, but I can mostly forget about it - until I eat! I take very small bites and chew more slowly (not a bad thing, right!) to make certain I can control the food.
Because there are no visible external signs, my friends and family shrug off any comments I make about it. Only this group well understands the life altering impact of this issue. As I have stated throughout the year, I am grateful this NOT life threatening as I see terminal issues happening to some of those around me.
I try not to get angry at my dentist who has since retired so he can now enjoy life. He didn't do this on purpose of course, but his actions have left me with what I now believe to be a permanent situation.
Thank you to each and every one for sharing their information, their frustrations, their successes ... And for just being there during this intense time. Social media does have extreme merit and this blog is proof of that!
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Avatar_m_tn
Good to hear your progress funinsun1.  Since you and I are older, it is going to take us a bit longer to heal in spite of difference in our IAN injury....yours being sadly injected and mine being stretched during #3 molar extraction.  Since you have come so far...it may take even another year but since you feel a lot better, this should be much more tolerable than what we each went through.  Its been a tough month for me but I am encouraged by not only my progress but learning what to expect from the shared path of others.

A last note of some irony that contributes to some the despair of myself and others initially.  We don't hear many of the success stories about this insidious injury.  During the panic period, many post their despair but when starting to feel better and overwhelming relief they are going to be OK, they don't tend to post.  Fortunately others do stay the course and share their success.
Wishing you the best in your recovery.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for keeping us up to date with your progress. And thank you Timeheals 60 for your words of hope. I'm sorry you had to go through such an invasive surgery.   I am at 7 weeks post surgery now and although I'm doing better, I still continue to have my moments of despair.  I don't talk about my injury with my family or friends.  I try my best to keep busy and not focus on the pain and stiffness.
My lip has improved about 50%.  It still gets the burning and tingling feeling. But I can feel a cup that is placed on my lower lip.  My chin and front lower teeth have become very stiff.  It is very uncomfortable.  They are still quite numb, but I can feel myself scratch it and/or tickle it.  I have my moments in the evening where it all just tires me out.  I slur my words and I still sometimes bite my lip.  But I do see improvement.  I pray that it continues.  My husband needs to either get a bridge or an implant due to a bottom molar that was extracted.  I think I'm leaning towards a bridge.  Less chance of damaging a nerve.  Any thoughts?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rosa,
Please gain strength and solace from the positive reports of many that have unwittingly inherited this unfortunate injury.  Better days ahead Rosa.
I am just over 1 month now and am more confident I will be OK....but it may take up to year as is reported by many and especially many older members here.  Probably pretty safe to say none of us have ever had an injury that is so slow to heal.  I never have.  I can deal with the pain as awful as it is...and my pain has been pretty unrelenting...with the belief that I will not have to live the rest of my life this way.  That would be very difficult to bear and what terrified me initially. Information about this injury is out on the web but could be more 'user friendly' to extract.  The good news about the peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve unlike much greater life altering spinal cord injuries is...peripheral nerves regenerate on the order of .5mm per day.  That is 20 one thousands of an inch every day.  As discussed, each of our injuries are different and we will heal at different rates.

A word about coping.  Distraction as you write I believe is a very good thing.  You mention staying busy.  Absolutely.  I am doing a lot of cycling and swimming and getting a lot of oxygen into my body to speed my recovery and also make me forget this issue for a while at least.  If you are an exercise junkie like I am, consider taking long walks to get your heart rate up and increase your oxygen uptake.

As to your husband's contemplation of implants, I believe you know the lesson here.  Annette who suffered greatly is a PhD and very bright lady and it happened to her.  Two things I have learned about dental surgery is injections can be life altering and so can implants.  An implant is basically a fastener and if the dentist isn't skilled or caring enough to perform due diligence which means a CBCT scan and understands the precise depth of the implant relative to particular nerve orientation and each of us are different... then there is great risk of a compression injury to a nerve like what happened to Annette. Bridges are safer and probably a lot less expensive as well.  I have a bridge in front in fact and had it for many years from a baseball accident when I was a little kid.

Take care and keep us posted on your recovery.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks again for your positive words. I feel that keeping positive helps heal the body.  And exercise too. My OS was not very positive and said this will take a long time to heal and given my age, will probably not heal completely.  But after 8 weeks I feel I am 40-50% healed.  The pain is less,my chin does not feel as thick and heavy as it did one month ago, I can feel my scratching.  Now it's mostly the tightness in my chin and lower teeth that bother me.
But I prayed that I would feel at least this much better before my trip to Israel tomorrow. At this point, I feel I can enjoy my trip as is. Hopefully I'll be so distracted that I wont think about my chin at all. I'll post my progress when I get back in a few weeks.
Good luck to all.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all, to those who remember me, i'm not yet recovered after 1,5 years. Im here to say that the court verdict was in my favor. But the doctor is only ordered to pay $1000. It's really low, and I asked my lawyer to appeal.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow Curtis...
Can you retell your story?..was it due to a wisdom tooth extraction?  Do you have any pain?...complete numbness?...was your inferior alveolar nerve completely cut?
Best Regards
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Avatar_f_tn
I have read the whole conversation and I would like to mention that My wisdom tooths are also extracted 6 months back from Cmr Dentistry  and I would like to mention that I have gone through the same feeling. It seems that wisdom tooth extraction take little bit time to get back to normal. But now it is healing so i am glad. And I think now you are also ok.
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Avatar_m_tn
Maria,
So you are still healing after 6 months?  What percent healed do you think you are at and do you expect a full recovery?
Best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Timeheals60, Now after 6 months I can say that I am almost fine. There is little easyness in back of my teeth specially when I eat something I have to be cautious but overall I am fine because previously I have handled very wiered  feeling when teeths wer extracted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good to hear you almost all healed.  Thing to remember for all of us based upon a lot of research, our inferior alveolar nerve and lingual nerve injuries are all different.  Plus, our ages are quite different as well...and many times there is a correlation of age and level of injury because it is much harder to extract wisdom teeth past 50 years old.  You are a young 28 years old and would expect you to heal a bit faster...perhaps much faster.

To update me, I am at 6 weeks and have come a LONG way so the point that I believe I may heal completely and I am 60 years old with a very difficult horizontally impacted most rear bottom wisdom tooth.  I do believe like Starbrite and others, that it may take 1 year or longer.  I still have a long way to go...still have about 50% numbness throughout my chin and gums on right side and a lot of daily pain.

For example.  Contrast my recovery with that of Annette.  Annette had a compression injury to her IAN from faulty implant surgery and when the compression was relieved, she only had 10 days of pain.  I have had 6 weeks of constant pain...every day and expect at least 1-2 more months of burning.  But my mouth is changing dramatically.  I can feel my lip.  Burning is becoming a bit less and so is numbness. Also position of pain seems to be moving more toward the center.  Also my jaw muscle is a lot better...I had a hard time opening my mouth initially and eating.  So each of us are different and therefore our paths to recovery will be quite different.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed June 24th. I'm very sad of the lack of professionalism my Dentist and his staff had in not informing me about the details of nerve damage. I am really lucky I have found this forum since it has eased my fear.
BTW has anyone tried acupuncture? and has it worked?
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry you have joined our unfortunate group but you will hopefully gain some hopefulness.  It is a long journey for most of us when this happens.
How about more details on your story?  Age?...one side?  What are your symptoms?  Tongue affected?
Good luck.
As to the pain thing I have endured every day, very few drugs help short of heavy narcotics which really inhibit ability to function at all...like drive a car.
My personally, aside from a Multiple vitamin and Omega 3, I take a low dose of ibuprofen throughout the day which btw doesn't help with pain much at all.  What Ibuprofen does do based upon research is promote nerve healing by blocking proteins inhibiting cellular growth.  Also its benefit of reduced inflammation is conducive to healing as well.
Provide details when you can.  Yes, the disclosure of dentists is sadly lacking.  Statistically nerve damage is rare is one of the reasons but most will attest here, if it happens to you, it is life altering.
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Avatar_m_tn
The area affected  are numbness/ pins and needles in the lower part of left lip and that side of the chin my bottom front teeth are also pretty painful. My tongue is not affected. I'm 25 yrs old. I know it's been a week since the surgery but this pain is pretty unbearable. I'm a counselor at a university and talking is a huge part of my life. I'm hoping for a fast recovery. I see my dentist tomorrow we'll see what he has to say.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good news for you is you are young and the roots aren't as established/tenacious as in my case.  Many dentists extract wisdom teeth but shouldn't.  Oral surgeons are better trained for this.  In my case because my tooth was such high risk because of nerve involvemtn my oral surgeon wouldn't even do it...so I had it done at the hospital by a facial reconstruction surgeon in an operating room and still came out with a pretty messed up IAN.  My guess is you will recover much sooner.  Tell us which exact tooth you had extracted on your left side?...was it all the way back...no. 3 molar?  Was it impacted?  Ask the dentist his precise assessment of the damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Ask him if he physically saw the nerve looking through the extraction site.  Ask him if is was a stretch injury to the nerve or if the nerve was cut.  The fact that you have sensation is a VERY good sign and with enough time virtually all recover from it.  The recovery process is awful...especially for those older on here which means me.
Let us know.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi All,

Just checking in to remind you all that you are not alone.  Curtiscraig - I am so glad that court sided in your favor - not that the verdict really makes up for anything, but hopefully it will help a tiny bit.  
Timeheals - I am 54 now - 52 at the time of my wisdom tooth extraction and implant surgery.   As I said last time - I feel at about 90%.  I long for the day that I can return here and tell you I am 100%.  Hopefully soon.

Wishing you all peace and relaxation this coming holiday weekend - try to enjoy yourselves - life is short - enjoy every minute!  xoxo

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Avatar_m_tn
Hi blessed2bme52,
Your continued contributions to this forum really help explain how long and convoluted the road to recovery is for many of us.  Thanks for your valuable contributions.  I maybe right there with you.  As mentioned, I am at 6 weeks and a long way to go.  Reading back through your posts, you reported changes even after 6 months.  You also reflected that improvements aren't even close to linear.  Completely agree.  My chin has mostly been on fire but the sensation seems to change daily.  When I sleep however, my chin seems to quiet down almost to normal...numbness is there but doesn't hurt as much..  But when I talk and eat I get a lot of burning.  I even have a weird interaction with my tongue.  When I have a lot of burning in my chin, I am more tongue tied, i.e. my tongue feels like there is a string tied underneath it to my right injuried side.  Oddly when my chin isn't burning, my tongue feels closer to normal and is freer..  So there seems to be communication between the IAN in my case and my tongue which may even be a bit unusual because my belief is I have no or very limited lingual nerve damage.  I hope you recover fully.  A lot easier to live with this issue at 90% recovered versus where I am at about 20% :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
Regards
Allen
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
Regards
Allen
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Allen,
You are a smart guy to question what your best path should be because the wrong choice is life altering.  I would get minimum 3 different assessments from the best oral surgeons within driving distance.  I went to a hospital to have a specialist remove my different tooth and I suggest you do the same.  But it is expensive for the operating room so look into the economics.  You need to find the best surgeon you can find.  
Also if you have no pain or symptoms, you need to think carefully if you should have it done at all.  Further some procedures do not take out of the roots of the teeth because of nerve involvement...instead just cut the crown of the tooth off that is trying to erupt.  Nobody here can give you the best path other than to suggest you choose your decision VERY carefully after talking to the best surgeons you can find.
All the best.
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Avatar_m_tn
Read all these comments about 3 months ago after I had had an extraction of of one of my molars, lost all sensation to my lower chin and lip. After realising what had happened I made peace with it straight away. No point harping on, just got on with my life. Guys, I get it, its annoying but lets put things in perceptive for a second, people are dying out here, its not the end of the world. If you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow you would be begging just to have numbness to live with.Plus out of all the comments i read, and i read a lot, I didn't read anyones testimony that showed that they fully healed. Anyway,I never ever post on websites but I feel that this might actually give some of you a little hope. After 3 months of slurred speech, spitting while I talk, dribbling, bitting my lip constantly I am fully healed, 101% infact the affected area feels more sensitive due to it being absent for so long. People are different and heal differently, you will be back to normal it will just take some time. Rant over
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Avatar_m_tn
As a guy who is at about 7 weeks from my molar extraction and had unrelenting pain every day in hope of full recovery including as I type this, how long did it take to get to 100% recovered?...3 full months?  Also, how old are you as age seems to be a big factor?
Congrats on your full recovery!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just got back from the oral surgeon.  I had developed a soft lump on the empty implant site and I was concerned it was an infection - it was.  Now I am on penicillin and had to schedule the "uncovering" of the implant so I can go ahead and finish it off.  I have been resisting this because I really didn't want anymore pain or numbness - but now I have no choice.  He said the infection was the result of my gum being irritated from chewing without a tooth and the implant below - gotta finish it.

They took full x-rays and feel that the nerve damage was done with the removal of the wisdom tooth - so no worrries with the implant.  He tested my facial nerves and I got 100% correct - he thought that was very promising.  He told me that after a year - they classify the nerve damage as permanent, but that doesn't mean it will never heal - as long as I have feeling and not total numbness - there is hope.  So that is what I am holding on to - FAITH before fear - the body is an amazing creation and God knows no limits.  

Peace my friends!   xoxo

ps.  Newbie74 - so happy you are healed!!
       Timeheals - I'm sorry for your unrelenting pain - I promise you it will get better - hang in there and try to stay active and tire yourself out - that helped me a lot.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I am hopeful that removing the infection takes your recovery to another level.  A question please.  You wrote earlier you are at about 90% recovered.  Do you still have periods of pain and numbness?  Where does this pain and/or numbness reside?...do you have any numbness or pain in your chin?  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being worst, what is you pain and numbness as compared to say the second month?
I like what you wrote about faith before fear and Best Regards..
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi!

I am exactly 5 months since the surgery. The numbness decreased gradually, but I still feel this tightness. I still have this light burning sensation, especially when touching it. The area is hiper-sensitive, so it hurts a little when touching, but the feel heat, cold, etc.

So tightness is the best word to describe my feeling. I would rate it with a 4 (from a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst). It feels uncomfortable sometimes.

I just hope I am on the right direction with the healing...
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Timeheals - I will try to answer your questions, but it is really hard to quantify pain since it is different for everyone.  I have stated I am about 90% - that would be on my best day - which I would describe as today.  I would say sometimes - like yesterday, it could go down to 75% or so.  That seems odd, since you would think healing means healed - but that doesn't seem to be the case for me.

Today I would say I have no pain at all - if I hold my mouth in a soft closed expression and don't move it - it feels completely normal.  If I move my lips of facial muscles - there is a odd stretching, stiffness that doesn't feel normal.  I wouldn't say it is numb - I can feel every touch, cold, hot - it just isn't normal.  In a way it is hypersensitive and has a slight tingle to it.  

My chin is almost completely normal - the odd feeling is in my lower lip, right side, but not at the very corner or exact middle - the affected area does seem to be shrinking.  Just below my lip in that area there is a small margin that also has that weird feeling.  My gum below my 2nd, 3rd and 4th from middle teeth is very sensitive and sometimes I do have pain there.  Not alot - maybe a 2 or 3.

Overall, it is so much better - that is why I quantified it at 90%.  Yesterday was one of my worse days in a long time - maybe because the OS was poking around, maybe because of the infection - but after 24 hrs on the meds I feel so much better.

Compared to month 2 - if that was 10 - I would say my pain would be <1 on a normal day.  Thank you Jesus!!  I know you are looking for reassurance that the pain will go down - it will!!  I promise that it will get better - when you are in it, it is so terrifying that it will never end, but it will. Have faith and look for reasons to be happy - life is good!

NumbRomania - it certainly sounds like you are on the road to healing.  The tightness in my teeth was really irratating for a long time, but it has really relaxed in the last few months to the point that I only feel it when I clench my teeth together.  

Peace my friends!  xoxo

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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks blessed2bme52 for your articulate response.  Much appreciated.  Since I am still under month 2,so you can imagine where I am at.  I think my recovery may closely mirror yours.  I believe I am on a year trajectory.  My mouth is going through monumental changes.  I also believe the pain patch is shrinking and at times it is at full burn and others it quiets down a bit.  Numbness has given way to hyper-sensitivity which I would say rivals pain...or painful sensitivity and also I feel the stiffness you talk about which I believe is where adjacent normal skin meets the chin patch under the side of the mouth that the IAN communicates with.  This contrast in sensory signals to the brain  I believe is what contributes to feeling of stiffness.  When the mouth moves, the skin and tissue move and the contrast of the recovering area to the outboard normal area is what creates the sense of stiffness.
Thanks again for your reassurance that your rightly surmised.  Part if not the big deal with this injury is not knowing what level of recovery each of us will endure, slow recovery and of course the absolute powerlessness each of us feel.
Best to all and thanks again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have to have my wisdom teeth removed soon and because I am 29, over 25, was told could be an increased risk of complications. How old are most of you guys? I see there is a 50 some odd and you are 60.  Also is there any advice any of you could offer for going into this? Would you recommend the cone beam scan before hand to assess my situation. Also anyone here been told their surgery shouldn't be a problem, but had one anyway? And finally, can the injection for numbing itself cause the IAN damage? Or is it usually due to removal of molar?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Blw85,
Many here that have prolonged IAN damage have it for two reasons: a. impacted molars are more difficult to extract with age...roots and bone become harder and b. IAN damage is more likely because as we age we lose elasticity throughout our bodies and therefore there is more damage if roots are in close proximity to both nerves.  Lastly, older patients heal slower as our immune systems don't have the restorative power of a younger person.  I will say this.  I am an athlete and strong cyclist and swimmer and look 40 but I am 60 and I believe my overall good health is on my side but I have a long way back to normalcy.

For anybody, including 20 year olds that have suffered this injury it is life altering.  Provided not irreparable damage to the IAN or lingual nerve aka severing...what is called transection....the odds are greatly in favor of recovery...which is such great news for someone like myself who is going through the suffering phase as I type this.  I am recovering but it is slow, painful and arduous.

So what to do.  Btw, I knew of these risks going in and all oral surgeons said my tooth had to come out which it did but not without consequences.

So for you I suggest:
Pay the money to have a cone scan aka CBCT scan.  Have a copy placed on DVD for your possession.  Take this to a second and third oral surgeon particularly if concern over close proximity of nerves to tooth roots..
Try to get references for whoever does your extraction.  Do not have a dentist perform the extraction. Ask to review the cone scan with the prospective surgeon and see for yourself your risk and let them tell you their assessment.

Injections: Both deep injections and faulty implant surgery can cause serious injury to the IAN or lingual nerves.  I suggest you get knocked out for the surgery and see if you can get by with no injections or what are called shallow injections only.  Carefully survey your options.

You will notice two principle themes reading the different member's experience on this forum.  One, age changes things as discussed.  Your age is your ally.  Second is....no two injuries are identical.  I can go into detail about different nerve injuries because out of panic, I read the medical literature.  So each of us will recover differently...and some are more healthy than others as well.  So there is nothing established about each of our recoveries.  Also the medical literature states that peripheral nerve recover is very difficult to quantify because it occurs on a molecular level.  Miraculously, peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve DO regenerate unlike spinal cords injuries which are part of the central nervous system.  A miracle of our bodies and only wished spinal cord sufferers would have the same opportunity.  One day this will be solved by technology...likely through stem cell research.

Hope that helps.  Do you homework and make your decision carefully is what I suggest.  Come back with any concerns.
Good luck to all of us.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much. I have been doing a lot of reading and have found the same suggestions you mention. I have asked the surgeon who is suppose to perform this to do a bone scan, so at the very least I feel more comfortable. Will also be taking that scan to a couple other surgeons for review. I actually had facial nerve damage from a surgery in 2007 and my right ear lobe is still pretty much numb, a major reason I want to avoid going through that again. I can't imagine what you all must be going through. But I hope to read more positive stories of recovery as there aren't enough of those on the internet!

Thanks again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Blw85,
You are very wise to do your research and choose your path with deliberation which it sounds like you are and your previous experience has taught you that lesson.  This injury is insidious because it is really unlike anything most of us have gone through before.  The sensation of pain is very different...burning or electrical shock basically which is exactly what it is...misfiring neurons because the conduit of connection from the brain to the surface area of sensation has been damaged.  As an engineer, I try to wrap my mind about what happened and what all the tradeoffs are and the more I read, the more it makes sense and fear is somewhat replaced by knowledge but until you go through it, hard to fathom really.  Everybody I tell about it looks quite puzzled because the public doesn't know much about it and I look basically normal.  But when I speak I am distracted by all what some describe as weird feeling which I too have.

For further perspective and mitigate some concern on your part is...one of the reason why more isn't known is most of the people here are outliers in anatomy in some sense...or in age relative time of extraction.  I believe the statistic for IAN and lingual nerve injuries due to wisdom tooth extraction are less than 5% nerve damage.  Of that subset of 5%, most and close to all recover...but some and not all without incredible drama.  Those that do recover I believe aren't much in the mood to come to a forum and talk about it because the experience has been somewhat nightmarish.  Some brave people due however and they are the inspiration to me and I plan to share the same hope with others.  In my case, I put off having my single problematic wisdom tooth out because I knew it was going to be a difficult extraction but the pathology of the tooth got worse...not life threatening but would have had consequences to jaw bone loss down the road.  So there was no good solution in my case.  Yes, I can second guess the procedure that the surgeon performed....he extracted the tooth in one piece versus sectioning it, but he obviously understood the tradeoffs having removed 2000 prior and he had carefully reviewed the CBCT scan and knew exactly where the two nerves were and decided on that course.  So for me, I was in kind of no win scenario or another way of looking is it is...in one year from now if fully recovered, I had the best possible outcome because my jaw didn't break which was one of the reasons I had mine done in a hospital setting.  It is unclear if I will recover fully but believe it is quite possible as my mouth seems to improve everyday in spite of sometimes tremendous pain but I believe I have a shot at full recovery at 7 weeks from surgery now.

You are well ahead of the curve because of your age and your due diligence in deciding your best path.  Many are broadsided with this which makes it even more difficult.

Hope that helps some.  Most that have their wisdom teeth removed are at low risk for nerve injury.

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again, call me paranoid but I am, you make me feel better.
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't think you are paranoid at all.  I may have thought so before this happened to me but not now. :-)
Hopefully your original surgery is completely unrelated to the position of your IAN and lingual nerve.

I will give you another strategy and one I would consider if I could turn back the clock.  You know about hindsight...many of us may have taken a different route and you have the chance because you are still plotting your course.  There is a procedure for impacted wisdom teeth when the roots are deemed too close to the IAN and lingual nerve where the surgeon sections the tooth near the base of the roots and extracts just the crown of the tooth but not the roots that are intimate with your nerves..  Had I known what I would gone through, I would have pursued this option more aggressively.  So deferring to even the smartest guy in the room...and make no mistake the talented man who reconstructs faces for a living who worked on me is as close to a hero as our society has... isn't necessary a fail safe strategy because he or she doesn't have to live in your body after the surgery.  I think I will feel a bit different...or hope to in a couple of months but where I stand now.
Again, maybe you are a low risk candidate.  A CBCT scan will reveal this.
Good luck.
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You will be fine, it sounds like you are progressing which is great. It took me approximately 2 or 3 years to fully heal from nerve damage.
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Thanks for the words of encouragement Wow.  2-3 years. Can't imagine what that journey much have been like.  Not that any of have a choice once this stuff happens.   Is the nerve that affected your earlobe unrelated to the IAN or lingual nerve or part of the mental nerve bundle or branch?
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It was the facial nerve, it had to be interfered with during surgery was no way around it really. I didn't experience pain or much annoying tingling, sensation just slowly started to come back slowly but surely over time.
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When you wrote of your previous issue of a nerve in your face, I thought of a recent acquaintance.  I mentioned I was a cyclist and have met many in all walks as a result. Recently, which is somewhat uncanny,  I met an interesting man while out riding who was a pro cyclist when he was younger and who is in his 50's now. We got to talking when out on the ride and I asked him what he did and he said he had a PhD and taught medicine.  I asked him is he knew about nerve pathology and he said he was more or less an expert on the subject.  Then he told me his story.  And this for everybody is about perspective of what each of us have gone through in our lives.  I mentioned previously I have been blessed with amazing good health. This is my first big issue. An abbreviated version of his story was...he developed a head ache on his left side and after multiple tests, it was determined he had a tumor and in fact it wasn't sure if he was going to live.  When they removed it...and it was benign...they had to severe a nerve on the side of his face which gives him numbness to this day.  He posits that it was cell phone EMI radiation that caused it....he was a consistent user of the early large cell phone and he believes it was the magnetism of this phone that caused his tumor.  Anyway, here is a guy who taught medicine and nerve anatomy and when they had to remove a lot of tissue, they had to remove the nerve that gave him sensation on the side of his face.  He was grateful to live of course and regrets none of the decisions the surgeons made he told me.

On our ride we talked about nerve anatomy and what to expect moving forward for me.  He reinforced just how unknowable recovery is for everybody because circumstances in terms of nerve injury and overall health play so heavily into the recovery process.  This is reinforced in the literature and what contributes to much of the fear that is reflected on this forum.  In your experience, your nerve recovery occurred up to 3 years later which isn't a common occurrence and reinforces this which also btw somewhat skews what is known on the web.  Many don't post their recovery but a lot of people panicking after 1 month do post their condition.  There are a  few reports to changes to the IAN on this forum in the one year range and even breakthroughs at the 6 month point.  So recovery is largely a mystery and unknowable for each of us in terms of speed or completeness.  But odds for IAN and lingual nerve regeneration are very good for nerves that aren't severed but it may take a very long period of time.

All the best with your wisdom teeth.
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Thank you! And to you with your recovery. Wishing you the absolute best !!
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Hi there!

I haven't written in a bit but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the kind words you wrote about me, and all the intelligent posts you have been leaving. I am so sorry you are enduring this right now, but I do promise that it does get better over time.

I am one month shy of being a year and half into this nightmare and even though I am back to the girl I once was before this situation happened, I still don't go a day without thinking about it. I guess you can say that I am stuck between the 90% "better" mark. I do notice small little improvements every month or so, which I am grateful for, but the slow healing pace is truly unreal. I mentioned before once that I was told that this will probably take up to 3 years to be completely gone, and I'm starting to reaaallly believe that.

I feel hot, cold, regular sensations, anything on my chin and lip, but it's not the same as the normal side. It still tingles if I run my finger over my chin and I feel the tingles in my lip too when I do that. I still don't feel tickling sensitivity very much, which I have spoken of before, anyone try the shower test? What did 100% come back for me though, thank god, was my taste. I went through months of burning tongue and diminished taste buds, I had no lingual nerve damage, this was clearly caused by IAN damage, (two doctors confirmed). The burning went away, and my taste came back at the year mark and has been strong since. I thank my lucky stars on that one!!! Right now I just still feel a bit of tightness, mostly in that one canine bottom tooth. 95% of the day I never ever realize it anymore though. When I'm around people, out and about, talking, working, shopping, eating...never notice it. When I do notice it and catch myself moving my mouth around to feel the differences, is when I'm watching TV alone, driving alone, etc.

I'm still very hopeful that it will one day return to normal. I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of it never happening, but until I reach 3 years, I'm sticking to that number! I hope there are more people here who are feeling better. Please don't be scared. The early days are extremely rough, I know, but trust me from the bottom of my heart that things improve to the point that you will be able to live your life the way you did before this happened to you.

Big hugs and I'll write again soon!
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Hi StarBrite310,
Congrats on all your improvement and thank you for taking the time today to post and help everybody and especially me.  

I needed your post today honestly as today has been very dark day for me.  As much as I am a glass half full kind of guy and recognizing there are worse things that can happen to good people each day, today I am mentally struggling with this.  I know there a bad and slightly better days and today is a bad day mentally.  I don't like to take any drugs and am seriously thinking about taking a mood altering drug to help with my dark thoughts and wonder if you took anything to help you through the bad time?  Alcohol isn't supposed to be good for nerve recovery and I don't want to start drinking honestly. :)  Btw, I am exercising 2-3 hours a day to help cope.  My body is strong but my mind is caving a bit to this awful injury.  It is wearing me down mentally.

My second question is....since I believe our age and wisdom tooth extractions and probably damage to the IAN are perhaps similar or in your case past tense, can you tell me how many months for you before you really felt you had a chance to beat down this demon?  Was it 6 months?...or less than that?

I feel I have made a fair amount of progress at 2 months breaking out of pretty complete numbness  but the pain and distraction to my speech because of what I would call a combination of weird feelings to my lip and chin make it hard to focus and communicate.
My right side of lip and chin are a combination of burning pain or hypersensitivity bordering on pain, tingling, numbness and variable stiffness...almost feels like a spider web when I move my mouth on my chin...I presume due to where healthier tissue meets sensory altered skin in the healing phase.  

What time period into your recovery did most of this abate recognizing you are maybe not perfect today but pretty darn good and stand a chance for full recovery?  Did you have any breakthroughs or any sense of hopelessness at the 6 month period?

Thanks you so much in advance if you could address my questions based upon your experience.
Thanks again and congrats on your improved health.
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Hey!

I will do my very best to answer your questions, but please understand that I have suppressed a lot of bad memories from last year, so I may not remember everything clearly.

First of all, I'm sorry you had a bad day yesterday, but very glad my post helped. Days for me were up and down for many months. Even now sometimes I feel everything will wind up totally fine, and then certain times I get really down on myself and the situation I was dealt with. However, better days are ahead for you, that I know for sure. In regard to any medication, nope I didn't take anything. I tried using Ibuprofen for pain in the early days, but that didn't help really at all since it doesn't respond to damaged nerves like ours. I kind of just relied on my family, boyfriend and friends to help me get through the toughest times. I also read this forum a lot which always helped me and I took up watching a lot of TV shows in my evenings to get my mind off things.

To answer your second question, I'm 32 (I had this happen to me 2 weeks shy of my 31st b-day) so I don't believe our ages are close, but the damage may be similar. I knew mine wasn't severed the very next day when the tingles began and then thankfully didn't stop for months and months. For me, the first month was absolute hell but when I got through the first month, I suddenly had a breakthrough with some feeling coming back and that's when I knew things would eventually be okay. Since then I just took it month by month. I remember between 4-6 months I got some big breakthroughs which helped me deal with things better. Then just little by little, days, weeks and months have gone by and things kept improving... I began to feel less tightness, and old feelings returned etc. I had hoped by now that I would have been all back to normal and probably would have bet a trillion dollars back then that it would've been all better almost a year and half later, but as I mentioned in my post yesterday, things will probably take longer for my case. it was obviously pretty significant damage and the fact that I've regained about 90% is a gift. I still to this day every once in awhile or so feels crawlies or spiders on my chin which I think are the nerves still sparking up. I can scratch it just fine now, early on that was the absolute worst because I couldn't feel my nails to take the itchies away, but when this still happens to me, I get very excited since it means it's still healing :)

I hope I helped you again today. Lemme know if you have other questions!
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Thank you Starbrite for your thoughtful comments.  They help a lot. I will say you are one tough girl mentally.  I hope to be as strong but have had a couple of bad days and so your words help a lot.

Sorry I got your age wrong.  You are a young lady and have your whole life in front of you.

A couple more questions please:

Was your chin completely numb right after the extraction?  Mine pretty much was.  It is the transitional stage to hyper sensitivity or pain that is freaking me out.  So in some ways, this issue was more tolerable early on and this seems to be the theme of others as well. I just wonder how many months of pain I have to contend with?   I do understand that pain seems to be a stepping stone to recovery, but its tough to deal with and why I wondered if you found any sort of drug that helped you either physically or mentally.

You mentioned the shower test and probably most of us tried this intuitively comparing left and right side of the lip and chin under the shower head.  When I first tried this say a week or two after my extraction, I couldn't really feel the hard streaming of the shower head on the injured side which of course was quite scary..  But now I sure can, so clearly my injured side has woken up.  It feels like serious pins and needles when the shower stream hits it and is more sensitive than the normal left side.  So I believe that is clear progress and wondered in the early days if you felt the stream the same way?

Since you investigated different physical  tests performed by different doctors, I can tell you that I feel the cotton swab very well including direction and also am good on discriminating pin prick sensation and location on my chin and lip.
I just did the ice cube test on both good versus injured side and best way to describe it is I feel the cold...but it is more muted and takes longer to ramp up compared to the good side which is more instantaneous.

If I were to sum up my chin on the injured side... very simply put 2 months from the extraction...it feels like it has a large scab on it....when I touch it and when I purse my lips, I feel a lot of stiffness. Best description I can provide.  

So I wonder when this started to change for you?  Did you turn the corner at 4 months?...6 months? when your internal dialog said, hey, this thing isn't going to beat me down any more?  I am not there at 2 months but hope to be a 4 months for my sanity. :)

I know the above it a pretty good list, but as time permits, this will help and perhaps will give perspective to others as well.

Thanks so much and all the best.



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I guess I will share what happened to me. I'm 21 and feel as if my life had been ruined to some degree. I am only on 2 weeks but see little improvement. Had my 2 lower wisdom teeth removed and the numbness after surgery on my right lip and chin never went away.

This is not all I am experiencing on top of this I feel my gums are not healing well as I can still barely eat. I also got an infection into the second week. I can still not even open my jaw all the way. I have been back to the doc and all they said was to give it 3 weeks and they will check again.

I now realize I could be in for a long wait. I also also lost a lot of weight in this 2 week period (not good). It is hard to say if i have seen any improvement in the past 2 weeks maybe a little on the inside of the gums that's about it.

I would just like to know if this will heal 100% over time and what are the signs if the nerve was completely severed or damaged? thanks
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Hi des.
Time for a pep talk young man.  First I think the girls on this site are stronger mentally than us boys. :-).  You have a lot of company and yes to some extent all of our lives have been ruined albeit temporarily in most cases.  I have answers as I have read the literature and have written about some of the cause and effect also learning from others here and I am still asking questions.  You are at what I call at the desperation phase of this injury.  We have all been here.  Read Starbrite's full timeline and her early posts.   It is arguably the darkest of time.  But hold on because you are in for a long ride...probably the ride of your young life as you recover.  Numbness that you have today gives way to pain as the axons within the nerve sprout aka regenerate.

Your questions:
Question 1: Numbness and no sense of improvement as related to a completely severed inferior alveolar nerve:
This is the signature question and you smartly asked it. Here is how it works.  You have a lot of inflammation and the nerve has obviously been injured.  No doctor can diagnose status at two weeks because inflammation of the recent extraction completely numbs all the nerve endings.  Further, a cone scan or radiograph isn't conclusive.  So the way it is determined if your nerve is completely severed is by level of improvement relative to time.  The target is 3 months.  Within 3 months if you are still completely numb and don't have painful sensation, then you need to line up a neurosurgeon to perform micro surgery directly on the nerve. There are only a few in the country that do this btw.  I will say this is very rare.  Normally the IAN is injured in a wisdom tooth extraction and not severed.  But that is how the assessment is made.  Take me for example.  I am 8.5 weeks post surgery and on days have been going through agonizing pain.  Pain is good to a degree.  It shows the nerve is working albeit poorly.  Pain is a scrambling of the electrical signal due to broken nerve fibers within the nerve casing.  There are several mechanical tests they can perform to determine nerve function.  These are somewhat qualitative...cotton swap rubbing on lip and chin, pin prick and hot/cold test.

At 2 weeks I was still very numb. Start doing the shower test every day comparing both sides.  I didn't feel the shower head on my chin in the first 2-3 weeks but do now although it isn't normal yet.
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I will tell you and I wrote about this above at 8 weeks, I went through unbelievable pain and fear.  Today and yesterday, I am a bit better and come down off the ledge. :-).  I believe like Starlight and Bless2beme and others, I am on a 1 year recovery path.  Unknowable if I will return to full health but hopefully close as they have where their quality of life is almost unaffected.

Question 2: Opening your mouth.
That is called trismus...google it.  The jaw muscle is damaged by the tooth extraction.  This is almost always completely reversible.  I had it bad and couldn't eat any solid food.  My jaw is much better and can now eat just about anything.  My jaw isn't perfect but close and it was badly damaged from the extraction as it sounds like yours is.  It will heal and faster than the nerve.  You need high protein shakes to keep your weight up.  I suggest making vegetable smoothies with protein.  Also ice cream is good for the spirit as well or comfort food.  If you live at home, get your Mom involved.  Lean on your family for strength.

Question 3, Healing 100%:
Let's put it this way.  Your odds are better than the rest of us.  Why?  Because of age.  The recuperative power of a young ammine system is much better than say a man at my age....I am almost 3 X's your age.

Here is the bottom line: If your nerve isn't completely severed which it likely isn't, you should recover to a high level.  Peripheral nerves unlike nerves of the central nervous system regenerate.  At bad as this is for all of us, keep in mind that 12,000 people in the US every year suffer spinal cord injuries and that truly is devastating.

Here is what I suggest.  First let me say I am not a doctor so you need to do your own research.  Out of panic, I have.  I suggest and only suggest, that you take a relatively high dosage of Ibuprofen for the next 3 weeks.  Studies have should that this NSAID blocks proteins that inhibit axon regeneration within the nerve.  Read the studies and google it and then decide if you agree.  I personally take 2 X 200mg Ibuprofen 3x's a day.  A higher dosage is probably better.  If you develop stomach issues back off.  It does almost nothing for pain btw which you will encounter as the nerve heals.  I can suck up the pain if I know I am recovering which I am albeit slowly...too slow for all of us.  Ibuprofen reduces inflammation conducive to healing and also promotes axon regeneration according to studies.

I hope that helps answer some of questions.  Use this forum to keep sane and ask questions which will replace your fear with knowledge.  We want to hear about your recovery as well.
This injury has tested each of us.  Stay strong.

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Hey again, I actually read everything you wrote thanks for the reply.

I am just finishing a degree in engineering and this is the last thing I wanted. I also was always at the gym and work out often so this has affected me a bit more mentally and physically.

I was unaware that there would be pain as it regenerates, all I have experienced so far is that tingly crawly feeling usually when I go to bed or throughout the day.

I almost had a heart attack when they told me there was a chance it could be permanent...

To elaborate on my situation I believe the surgeon said they left a small portion of the tooth on purpose as it was close to nerves. Sure enough I still came out with nerve damage. (same side).

I have broken my arm twice right through and needed surgery, as well as a lower minor back injury (bulging disc and damaged facet) however this is by far the worst.

I will continue to update throughout the weeks and read posts.

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Fellow mechanical engineer here and your scientific bias should help you understand cause and effect.  Sounds like your surgeon performed a coronectomy...google it...where tooth crown is removed and roots left in place because of close proximity to the nerve.  Interesting there was still nerve damage.  Perhaps you had an outliar tooth anatomy where the roots wrapped around the nerve.  Was your tooth horizontally impacted?  Btw, do you have tongue pain which relates to the lingual nerve?

The 'permanent' injury mantra is largely CYA by the dental community to mitigate liability.  If you do the research, the probability of a permanent deficit...or say one that is life altering like our status now...is very very small.  You would bet the house in Vegas on this every time and almost always win and btw, the reason why the dentist removed the tooth in the first place...because it was deemed the tooth needed to come out and the risk was worth it.

One more thing, start taking a multi Vitamin everyday for B12 in particular conducive to nerve recovery and an Omega 3 tablet.

As to exercise, absolutely.  I am an avid cyclist and just returned from my 32 mile ride where I was hammering in a pace line averaging 20 mph with 10 other riders with my heart rate at ~150 bpm.  Exercise will be your friend and yes this injury is mentally challenging and exercise is when I mostly forget about it for a while.  It has helped me a lot.
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I am just finishing up in mechanical actually,

I honestly don't know what type of surgery they performed and have not seen an X ray after.

I do believe they were horizontally impacted as they were not coming in right. I didn't even bother getting my tops removed. After the surgery they did however say the nerves were located a little closer to the teeth than usual.

Also I do no have any tongue pain and it seems quite normal. I want to say I have regained a bit of feeling in the top of my lip ever so slightly from day 1, however even this is very hard to tell. I just keep comparing it to my good side and it feels it will never be the same.

I do take multis but on a side note I will start up with the omega 3s.

Thank you for your time and I have read about your recovery good luck.
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Look at the bright side that you don't have a tongue deficit.  This is even more debilitating affecting speech and taste.  Lingual pain can be intense.
I have modest tongue interaction with my IAN like Starbrite had based upon the IAN branch cross talking to my tongue.  This for me has varied day to day.  When my chin isn't as inflamed, my tongue is closer to normal.  An odd interaction and most unsettling. But as I heal my tongue is more normal and a huge relief and I can talk with less concentration.

Over and above Omega 3 + Multiple Vitamin, do your reading on Ibuprofen and nerve recovery...I highly recommend it.

I want to emphasize to you to not be too concerned about your numbness and only a hint of lip feeling at 2 weeks.  Myself and others were in the same place.  At 2 months, I have a lot more sensation throughout.

Question...when you floss on your injured side, can you feel the floss through your teeth?  This took me about a month I believe.  You are going to go through a range of 'weirdness' as your mouth recovers.  Mine feels like I have a wound on my chin even though it looks normal.  I also have the stiffness others feel during their recovery which subsides as the nerve heals.  Btw, I will share a bit of engineering with you about recovery.  It isn't just your nerve that heals and regenerates axons which are like little conduits with nerve fibers inside.  Your brain reprograms itself like an adaptive computer to the new input from a 'changed' nerve.  This is why for most, pain subsides.  The brain gets used to the new signals from the 'revised' nerve.  Our nerves heal but will be altered to some degree and our brain accommodates these changes in electrical conductivity.   Our brains are highly adaptive thankfully but this takes a lot of time.  Peripheral nerves regrow only 1mm per day which btw is hard to correlate to the IAN.  

Most distressing thing about this injury is the 'time' it takes to heal.
Heal fast des and get well soon.
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Hey again,

I can feel it in my teeth and gums when I floss and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have felt that 2 weeks ago, however everything else the chin, lip are the same.

Something I really noticed which is kind of weird is that when I would push my lower jar forward, then open my mouth I would get almost very fast pulsating tingling throughout my chin and lip.

Only until a few days ago though. Now if I do this (little over 2 weeks) it just feels as if I am stretching a muscle or 'pulling' my chin. I don't know what any of this means really. Hopefully nothing bad.

I am preparing myself that it could take months or even a year to heal.
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des,
To quickly address your original concern about the complete severing of your IAN.  It isn't.  Otherwise you wouldn't have the sensation from the injury site where the tooth was extracted in back along your gum line toward the center of your chin when you floss.  So I believe you are basically where many of us were at 2 weeks with this injury...or where I was.  Your youth may promote faster healing so keep positive through the next few weeks.  Take the supplements we talked about and keep exercising.  Be sure to update us with your progress. Most that have been through this report the healing process is not linear....plateaus and breakthroughs as the nerve recovers.
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Also, about your jaw des as I have been there.  Be gentle with it.  Your jaw muscle is injured by the extraction as mine was.  Do not try to put too much pressure on your jaw in an effort to open your mouth to eat at this point.  Your jaw will gradually heal and in a month it will open much more naturally.  I have full range now and couldn't hardly open my mouth.  I would hold off on manipulating your jaw too much as it will impede injury.  Very light stretch only..  Let it heal and drink protein shakes or spoon soft food until your mouth opens more fully.
Hope that helps
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I will continue to post about my recovery. Regarding my jaw, there has been significant improvement over the last few days, I can open it about 3/4 now I would say. At least I am almost eating fully solids now. I could barely even open my mouth the first week.

As for the numbness..time will tell.
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Hey all,

I had the "revealing" of my implant yesterday.  It didn't take long - thank God!  I'm not going to lie - there was a point where I thought he might break my jaw - he didn't  :)  It was pretty nasty afterwards and I laid around the rest of the day having a pity party - glad that is over!  :)  Today I feel much better - still sore, but nothing too painful.  

StarBrite - it is so great to hear from you.  I am glad you are doing well and wish you were 100% - but I know you will get there!  I feel like I mirror your healing - so hurry up, will ya!  Lol

Timeheals - I'm sorry you have been struggling lately.  It is such a weird injury and things are just not predictable, but I would venture to say you are in this for the long haul - I hope I am wrong.  The pain will come and go - sometimes shooting, sometimes dull and throbbing.  Speech problems will come and go - I specifically remember having issues around the holidays last year where I was slurring my words and actually drooling on occassion.  I sometimes wondered if people thought I had a stroke.  

des19 - welcome - with your age, I would bet you will heal quickly.  A lot of people come on once or twice and never return - I think because they are fully healed - I hope you will heal that quick, but please let us know so others can have hope.  Everything you report sounds like what most of us have been through.  Don't be afraid - you will NOT have to go through life like this.  It WILL get better - I promise.

Hang in there all my cyber friends - I think of you and pray for your healing everyday.  Wishing you nothing but happiness!  xoxo
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Thanks for your kind words.  I admit to struggling emotionally with this lately.  The pain was tearing me down.  Seems recently pain has given way  to major weirdness for lack of a better description.  My chin feels 'messy' or just plain lousy which is disconcerting and hopefully a stepping stone to recovery.  My speech is pretty good and I have a fair amount of sensation in my lip and on my chin and inside my mouth...it just doesn't feel good and perhaps you know what I mean.

How does your mouth 'feel' these days?
Kind Regards
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Hi Friends,

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Mine was good except for a bleeding episode I had on Saturday.  For those of you with implants - did it take you a while to heal after the "revealing" of the implant and capping off?  I thought I was doing ok, but it started randomly bleeding while I was shopping and I actually had to leave and go home because it would not stop.  i have always had a lower than normal platelet count, so I do tend to bleed alot.  At home a tea bag was able to clot it up and it is ok again.  I have to say that it looks kind of scary in my mouth right now - lol!  Any comments from those that have gone through this?  Funinsun?

Timeheals - I agree with your post about how our brains start changing our interpretation of pain and how we adjust to damage.  I have to say if I think about it - there is pain at the implant site, but for the most part I really feel that my brain has just learned to ignore it.  Since the revealing last week I have had times when I felt the icy cold and burning sensations again, but I am not too worried.  Overall, it is maybe just a tiny bit worse than it was before.  

Hope that everyone feels better with every passing day.  Peace!  xoxo

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Good to hear from you blessed2bme52,

Quick question...was your IAN injury based upon an implant installation or a wisdom tooth extraction?

I don't have anything to add about healing relative to implants only to wish you well in your recovery.

My pain level has reduced the last couple of days.  At week 9 now, my mouth feels closer to normal than it has since the surgery but have a long way to go but getting a reprieve at least which helps my hopefulness.  Pain is lowest right out of bed in the morning and seems to flair with a lot of talking and even eating during the day.  My chin has gone from almost complete numbness at week 1 & 2...to complete pain for what seemed like forever  to now what feels like pins and needles with reducing numbness and a lot of sensation.  Not even close to comfortable yet but seems to be healing although not linear as discussed..  I am visiting my surgeon tomorrow for a follow up consultation and I have my questions list. :)

Thanks again for sharing your experience...your comments have really helped.
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Today actually marks the 3rd week for me so I will give an update.

I have definitely seen some good improvements. I can now feel the top of my lip before it meets my skin to the touch but it is still a little numb. I can also open my jaw regular now and am pretty well back to my diet.

However where my lip meets the skin is still very numb close to the chin are which has seen little improvement. I'm hoping that I will be 100% healed within the next 2 months.

My next check in with the surgeon is next week so we'll see. Wishing everyone good recoveries.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone!

Just wanted to write a quick update that since I last wrote a couple weeks ago, I went through a very big breakthrough and have regained back a significant amount of feeling. It's great, almost back to normal, a bit more ways to go of course, but this was a big jump. I felt sparks, itchies, tingles, tightness and then all of a sudden, bam, days later I noticed a big improvement. I will be a year and half on August 21st.

I'll report back again soon but hopefully this sheds more light on how long this process takes so don't be scared if you aren't all better at the year mark :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi des,
I just got back from my visit at Univ of Florida and met with two surgeons and reviewed everything.  Because you are only at 3 weeks with common numbness in lower lip and chin as you describe, they won't be able to tell you much.  Today, I tried to nail down where I am at 9 weeks post op the best they could with prediction of recovery.

Des, if you go on line and research IAN injury levels, there are essentially 5 different levels or gradations...1 being mild and 5 being complete severing of the nerve.  As we talked you are not near a 5 because you already have some sensation.  Their best guestimate for me based upon testing at this point in time...and only way to do it is tracing amount of sensation relative to time...is my IAN injury is a level 2.  That is what they believe.  A level 2 injury is...the nerve fibers internal to the axons...axons are like little conduits...are broken because of either stretch or compression aka crush...and probably some axon damage as well...the best they can surmise.  There are pictures on line of a cross section of the nerve to help you understand nerve anatomy if you seek this out.  Both surgeons performed mechanical tests which I did pretty well at...and you will likely have this done perhaps on your second consultation.  I can feel direction of the cotton swap and I pass the 2 pt. discrimination test.

Prospects for a complete recovery with a 2nd grade injury to the nerve are good.  If I have a no.3 grade injury which is possible...or percentage of a no. 3....this means greater internal damage to the nerve and/or abrasion to the external trunk of the nerve, which means I will likely get a good percentage of normal sensation back...but may have some slight alteration or deficit in sensation over the long run.

For you, in about 1 month from now, they should be able to perform the mechanical sensory tests and see where you are at.  Right now, you have a lot of numbness like myself and many others at 3 weeks.  Anyway, a bit of a roadmap of what to expect.  The important point is, stay positive as my guess is the next month will bring big improvement for you.  As to me, I am hopeful after 2 more months, I will be close to full recovery but this is wishful thinking only.  Time will tell.

My best wishes to everybody.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow.  Such wonderful news.  1 and 1/2 years out and still improving.  This is so important to report StarBrite and good of you to come here and not only share your joy but inform others that change can continue well after the 1 year mark.
Every one of us understand the significance of this news.
Now go celebrate!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi All,

Starbrite - thank you so much for returning and sharing your improvement - I am at 1 yr and 3 1/2 months and I love to hear that you are still having breakthroughs.  You have always mentioned the "itchies" that I have never felt - but other than that, my progress has mirrored yours, so I will be expecting a breakthrough soon.  :)

Des - the point where the bottom of my lip meets skin is one of the last areas that is still mostly affected.  It is not numb - but it still has a distant tingly feel when touched.  My chin is basically normal but when I run my finger up to my lip it is weird.  Don't worry - the fact that the top of your lip is bettter is a sgn of things to come for the rest!

Timeheals - to answer your question - I had an implant started at the same time I had an impacted wisdom tooth pulled.  The nerve damage is related to the wisdom tooth.  The implant is in the molar two teeth before the removed wisdom.  So it is implant, my own last molar, and then removed wisdom.  
I am so glad for you that they believe you only have a level 2 injury - that is great news and hopefully you will heal faster than I.  It is wonderful to hear that your pain is going down - what a blessing!  Thank you for all the information you have provided - I have not taken the route of going to the large university in the area and having the damage further evaluated, but I do find it very interesting and am now wondering  what level I am at.  Maybe I don't really want to know - LOL!

Have a wonderful day my friends!  Peace!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Nice to hear from you blessed2bme52 and glad you continue to improve and I look forward to your  future progress.  

Starbrite answers the hardest question of all which is...does this injury continue to heal?  I believe the answer is yes, it continues.  It may plateau for a while and then another breakthrough.  In the early days, the breakthroughs come more frequently because there is a lot more damage in the early stages.  One young lady on here a few posts back had the nerve in her face recover 3 years later...just remarkable.  The other thing to consider is each of completely replace all our cells in our bodies every 7 years...and of course diet matters and how we feed our cells along the way as cells constantly die and replicate.

As to level of inferior alveolar nerve injury, let me try to put a finer point on a very difficult topic which is many times the basis of all our fear.  The reality is...in the literature this is discussed and injury grades are more or less 'qualitative'.  It is virtually impossible to assign a nerve injury level for example and the only measure of nerve injury is sensory function relative to time.  It is unknowable internal to the nerve the amount of damage by a tooth extraction other than how the nerve behaves over time.  The rest is just speculation and a very rudimentary definition.  In the medical literature, peripheral nerve injury and regrowth is referred to  as 'embryonic'.  In other words, not much is known about how nerves regrow.  But if interested there is a lot of scholarship on the subject however impossible to correlate a level of injury or regrowth to each of us which is buttressed by all of our frantic searching for answers.  We want to know when we will become well and this is unknowable really.  But we gain strength in knowing just how regenerative that nerve is.  Most of us feel so much devastation that is seems almost impossible to recover...and yet we do.  That is the silver lining.  

Kind Regards and keep the updates coming everybody.
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