If you are receiving dental implants, Dr. David McAninch and Dr. Robert Kiken may need to perform a nerve repositioning procedure in order to properly place the implants in your mouth. This procedure is performed only on the lower jaw, and may be recommended when teeth are missing in the areas of the two back molars and second premolars. If you have questions about nerve repositioning, and to schedule an appointment with our oral surgeons in Santa Barbara, California, please call our office today.

During a nerve repositioning procedure, we move the inferior alveolar nerve to ensure that the dental implants can be properly placed. This is the nerve which gives feeling the to lower lip and chin. Our oral surgeons begin by accessing the jaw bone to expose the nerve and vessel canal. We then isolate the nerve and vessel bundle in that area, and pull it slightly out and to the side. We can then place the implant into your jaw. After the implant is placed, we gently place the nerve bundle back over the implants, fill the area with bone grafting material, and close the surgical site.

Depending on your condition, the nerve repositioning, implant placement, and bone grafting procedures may be performed separately or together. Our oral surgeons perform these procedures in an out-of-office surgical suite, under IV sedation or general anesthesia. Following your procedure, we recommend bed rest for a full day, and limited physical activity for one week.

Nerve repositioning is considered a very aggressive approach, as there is usually some post-operative numbness of the lower lip and jaw. This numbness dissipates slowly, but in some cases may be permanent. Our oral surgeons always consider less aggressive treatment options before recommending nerve repositioning.

If you have any questions about nerve repositioning, and to schedule your consultation at Ocean Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, please contact our office today.