A patient recently came into the office and relayed the following story concerning a friend of hers.
She said that a friend of hers had been to the dentist recently and following the appointment had numbness in her jaw that was quite painful. The story she told and I now relay was that during the injection the patient felt a stinging pain. After the appointment the patient remained numb in her jaw and the feeling was a painful feeling. She went to speak to her dentist who said that perhaps the needle broke at the site of the injection and was now stuck inside or perhaps something else happenned. My patient asked me what do I think?
I first keep in mind that as usual, who knows what the actual story really is. Remember, we all played broken telephone when we were kids and we know how that turned out.
I told my patient that I did not beleive that there was a broken needle inside unless he specifically told her that there was. We know the lengths of the needles and if something breaks, we will know it. Besides, we can always take a radiograph that will show us right away any broken metal objects.
I told the patient that numbness after an injection can happen due to the injection or injection material. The injection could have actually hit the nerve or the local anaesthic could be somehow toxic to the nerve etc. In most cases this numbness is temporary but in a very small number of cases it can be permanent.
I asked her how long her friend had the numbness? She answered, "about 8 months." This was not good, I told her that temporary numbness does generally not last that long.
If this does happen let your dentist know and he can tell you what the prognosis is and if there is anything that can be done.
All the best
Dr. Ron Barzilay
Enjoying Dentistry in HAMILTON ONTARIO