Dental implant nerve injury risk causes concern

The Association of Dental Implantology’s President Professor Cemal Ucer supports the concerns raised by the findings of a recent study published by researchers at King’s College London on permanent nerve damage caused by inappropriate placement of dental implants.
Research by experts at King’s established that ‘patient consent and information, pre-operative planning and appropriate post-operative referral’ were inadequate for a group of patients who have suffered the unfortunate complication of nerve injury associated with dental implant surgery.

They have warned that the number of patients who suffer permanent nerve damage due to dental implants could increase if the profession does not address risks and put in to place protocols to prevent injury. 
Incidence of inferior alveolar nerve injury (IANI) that could cause acute/persistent pain and altered feeling in the face has increased significantly over a ten-year period as the use of dental implants has increased

Professor Tara Renton from the King’s Dental Institute stated that trigeminal permanent nerve injury caused a lifetime of orofacial neuropathic pain for 70% of patients involved in this study.

This type of nerve injury massively impacts on quality of life for these people.
Professor Renton is now writing a guidance paper for the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) based on her current findings, on the diagnosis and management of patients with nerve damage following dental implant placement.

The ADI Guidance paper will be published in the autumn.
Professor Renton will be presenting her findings at the ADI’s 2013 Team Congress in Manchester. Her lecture is titled ‘Implant-induced post-traumatic inferior alveolar nerve neuropathy’.
Professor Ucer who is currently completing a five-year clinical study into IANI believes that the incidence of dental implant related permanent nerve injury could be reduced significantly by following strict protocols of clinical and radiological planning and use of appropriate pharmacological and surgical techniques. Adequate training, patient information and consent as well as appropriate post operative follow up are also essential to reduce the risk of this debilitating complication occurring.
The ADI supports King’s initiative to set up a national audit reporting service of Trigeminal nerve injury.
To read King’s College London Dental Institute’s research click here

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