The incidence of altered sensation of the mental nerve after mandibular implant placement

Richard Bartling, Katherine Freeman, Richard A. Kraut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was designed to determine the incidence of altered sensation in patients undergoing mandibular endoseous implant placement. Patients and Methods: Ninety-four consecutive patients who underwent the placement of mandibular implants constituted the study group. The only patients that were excluded from this study were those who had preexisting injury to the trigeminal nerve. Patients were followed using standard neurologic testing during the period immediately following implant placement through 6 months. Four hundred five implants were placed in 43 female and 51 male patients. Implant length selection was based on panoramic radiographs using known markers to correct for distortion. In 13 of the patients, the mandibular canal was not adequately visualized, and a computed tomography (CT) scan was used to plan the implant locations. Implants were selected to be located 2 mm above the inferior alveolar canal based on the panoramic images and 1 mm above the canal based on CT images. Results: Eight patients reported altered nerve sensation at their first postimplant visit (8.5%). None of the patients experienced hyperesthesia or dysesthesia. Four of the eight patients with altered sensation had no objective findings or decreased nerve function. One of the patients remained totally anesthetic for 2 months, but reported return to normal function at 4 months. Conclusions: These findings indicate that a small percentage of patients experience altered sensation after the placement of mandibular endosseous implants. Unlike previous studies, no permanent altered sensation was found. By using proper treatment planning, one can offer endosseous implants with minimal risk of injury to the trigeminal nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1408-1410
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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