What Is Nerve Repositioning?
This procedure redirects the jaw nerve (inferior alveolar nerve) to allow for the placement of implants. It is performed when patients do not have enough jawbone above the nerve to accommodate the implants. Since there is almost always some postoperative numbness of the lower lip and jaw area that dissipates very slowly, if ever, this procedure is considered an aggressive approach after all other options are considered.
The surgery can be done at the time the implants are placed or separately, depending on the patient’s condition.
During the procedure, an outer section of the cheek side of the lower jawbone is removed in order to expose the nerve and vessel canal. The nerves are moved out of the way while the implants are placed, and then released and repositioned over the implants. The jawbone is filled with bone graft material to facilitate healing.
These procedures are performed in a surgical suite under IV sedation or general anesthesia. After discharge, bed rest is recommended for one day and limited physical activity for one week.