Dental paresthesia refers to altered sensation in and around the oral cavity. You might experience dental paresthesia as a side effect of dental treatment, such as dental extractions, surgeries, and injections. The condition usually resolves itself after some time but can also be permanent.
Below are three major ways to limit your risk of dental paresthesia.
1. Get Early Treatment
Dental paresthesia stems from nerve damage. Examples include nerve bruising, stretching, compression, or severance. Any form of physical trauma can cause nerve damage and trigger paresthesia.
The risk of nerve damage increases with the complication or invasiveness of a dental procedure. For example, surgical tooth extraction is more likely to cause nerve damage than a simple extraction. Dental treatments that involve injections also increase the risk of needle nerve damage.
Seek dental and oral treatments as soon as you develop problems. Regular dental examinations help because your dentist will spot problems in their infancy. That way, you will get early treatments, which are likely to be simple and carry lower risks of paresthesia.
2. Get Pre-treatment Imaging
The distance between the treatment site and nearby nerves determines the risk of dental paresthesia. The nearer the nerves are to the treatment site, the higher the risk of paresthesia. For example, an impacted tooth with oddly shaped and complex roots near nerves increases the risk of post-extraction paresthesia.
Unfortunately, such relationships are not always visible to the naked eye. Dentists sometimes use imaging techniques to check nearby nerves and determine how to avoid them during extraction. For example, the dentist may take an x-ray or 3-D image of an impacted tooth and surrounding tissues before extraction.
3. Choose an Experienced Dentist
Your dentist's skills can also reduce the risk of dental paresthesia. Many dentists hone their skills through practice, experience, and further education in relevant dental specialties. Experience and specialization help dentists to:
Thus, you should consult experienced dentists for complicated dental problems. You should also stick to oral surgeons when your treatments require oral surgery.
Hopefully, you will never experience dental paresthesia after dental treatments. Fortunately, dentists have different techniques for managing persistent or permanent paresthesia. For example, you may receive medication to lessen the sensations or surgery to repair the damaged nerve. Consult your dentist for further help.