My dentist removed four teeth before Invisalign treatment and left one tooth root behind by mistake. Now he says that a premolar tooth root is touching a nerve, and an oral surgeon must remove it. The surgeon explained the risks for numbness that can be brief, last for months, or permanent paralysis. Can I skip this surgery? Thank you. Xander from Kansas
Thank you for choosing our office for your question.
Dr. Reddy would need to examine your x-rays to determine which tooth is in question and what you might expect with surgery.
Is it Necessary to Remove Tooth Roots Left After Extraction?
Removing tooth roots left behind after extraction depends on the location of the roots and which teeth are affected. Sometimes tooth roots left after extraction are harmless. But if you are in Invisalign treatment and the tooth is a lower molar, the root can affect the movement of other teeth.
Oral surgeons must protect themselves from lawsuits and explain the most extreme results of surgery. The risk of nerve damage with wisdom teeth is higher than with premolars. Still, if a tooth root is touching a nerve, the roots may affect the mental foramen nerve that travels along the lower lip and chin. You might have some temporary numbness or complete loss of sensation but not paralysis.
Still, an oral surgeon can see the nerve on an x-ray and avoid damaging it during surgery with good technique.
Get a Second Opinion
If you want to feel confident about your decision to accept or decline surgery, schedule a second opinion with another oral surgeon. They will examine your x-rays and explain your options. The surgeon will also explain what you can expect if you do or don’t have surgery to remove the tooth root.
You can also get a second opinion from another Invisalign dentist on how the tooth root will affect your treatment plan.
Rekha Reddy, DDS of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.