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Trigeminal Nerve Damage related to Implant Surgery

The mental and inferior alveolar branches of the trigeminal nerve are the two nerves which are at most risk of being injured iatrogenically during implant surgery.

Although the true incidence of inferior alveolar nerve injury (IANI) is unknown, some studies have reported a relatively high incidence rate of nerve damage following implant placement surgery in the mandible.

A recent UK survey carried out by the ADI has revealed that, whilst there was a good awareness of IANI occurring during implant surgery amongst implant dentists, there were considerable shortcomings in the treatment planning of cases in the posterior mandible with reference to case assessment, diagnostic imaging and the consent process.

The survey also suggested that there was a considerable room for improvement in clinical practice and surgical protocols to reduce the risk of nerve damage occurring in the posterior mandible.

I am indebted to Professor Tara Renton for dedicating so much of her time to producing both the original Consultation Paper on IANI and then the following two ADI Guidelines, which are being made available to the ADI community as a membership benefit:

On Risk Management and Prevention of Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injury (IANI) Associated with Dental Implant Surgery

On the Diagnosis and Treatment of Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injury (IANI)

These Guidelines should be regarded as sound practice statements based on best available evidence as well as expert opinion at the time of writing and are not intended to be prescriptive rules or clinical protocols as such. They are intended to help clinicians to make sound judgements about the management of their patients.

I hope you will find these Guidelines informative and beneficial.

Professor Cemal Ucer
ADI President 2011-2013
September 2013


Click here for the original Consultation Paper.