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Nerve hit by dental injection
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Nerve hit by dental injection

I had a temporary crown on a left lower molar put on Tuesday.  At the time of the injection to numb the area I felt an electric shock in my right lip and chin  I had no problems Wednesday, everything felt normal.  On Thursday morning I felt the exact same electrical shock in the same area and it moved up my right side of my face to my nose and right below my eye. I now have numbness and pain in this area. I have pain opening my mouth to chew.  I went back to the dentist and they indicated a nerve was hit during the injection.  They suggest I wait until Monday and if it isn't better to start steroid treatments.  I am having a hard time finding any information on pursuing steroid treatment for this.  I was told by someone who had the same problem to see a neurologist. Some ideas on possible courses of action would be helpful.  Also, in your experience what is the most common time frame for something like this to improve if in fact I am lucky and it does improve.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
If a nerve was hit or damaged by the injection, usually the symptoms subside without steroid treatment.  Are you sure it's not the tooth with the temp crown causing the problem??  Normally, you don't get permanent damage to a nerve from an injection.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
They took an x-ray of the area and the tooth that was worked on.  The tooth had a previous root canal in it a year ago.
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Avatar_m_tn
when the inferior alveolar nerve is blocked to work on a lower tooth, the needle must travel through a decent amount of muscle, which can make it difficult to open and close properly int he ensuing days due to the direct trauma. It is also possible (and it sounds like it in your case) to actually hit the nerve with the tip of the needle. It actually means the dentist had good aim. It is highly unlikely that your problems will be permanent. Nerves heal, unless they are completely torn--which is highly unlikely from a dental injection. It may take time-- sometimes months, but it should be ok. steroids may reduce inflammation, but they won't make the nerve heal any quicker-- steroids also have other side effects and are not very good for you. I personally would stay away from them and try other anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen for your muscular symptoms. relax--- be patient.
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Avatar_n_tn
All excellent replies - not really much you can do except follow the advice given, but Homoeopathic Arnica is good post trauma of any sort and combines well with Hypericum which is favoured for nerve injuries. Both can be taken in anything from 6C to 30C (various schools of thought on potency) and dosed frequently (2 hourly for a couple of days then reduced to 2 - 4 times a day). Oh and just before the controvensy starts - if you happen to be a sceptic about homoeopathy just remember the medicines are so dilute tharreally there is nothing in them = therefore they are only placebos - and trials show that 30% of participants in a medical trial will get an improvement in their condition with only a placebo.

Have you got anything to loose by trying Arnica and Hypericum and you could be one of the lucky 30% !!
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Avatar_f_tn
I would get away from that dentist as fast as possible.  The comment that he had "good aim" is off base--most injections do not pass through the nerve, and it is my understanding that they should not, both because of the pain, and because it can and does damage the nerve sometimes.  You need someone with "different" aim!  

I would make sure to mention this event to your new dentist so he can take measures to avoid this type of mistake.

I am fairly phobic about dental injections, and if this would happen to me, I would leave then and there.  Everyone yaks about painless dentistry being the norm--well, it should be.  And only by leaving the ones that hurt us will we make it known that we expect just that--painless dentistry.

If dentistry was really concerned about patient comfort, something other than that horrible, scary needle would have been figured out a long time ago.
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, dental injection making eyelid droop was started.
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