The inferior alveolar nerve, which gives feeling to the lower lip and chin, may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants in the lower jaw. This procedure is limited to the lower jaw, and is considered when teeth are missing in the area of the two back molars and/or second premolar, with the above-mentioned secondary condition. Since this procedure is considered a very aggressive approach (there is almost always some postoperative numbness of the lower lip and jaw area, which dissipates only very slowly, if ever), other less aggressive options such as the placement of blade implants are considered first.
Typically, an outer section of the cheek side of the lower jawbone is removed in order to expose the nerve and vessel canal. Then we isolate the nerve and vessel bundle in that area, and slightly pull it out to the side. At the same time, we will place the implants. Then the bundle is released and placed back over the implants. The surgical access is refilled with bone graft material of the surgeon’s choice and the area is closed.