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Int J Prosthodont. 1998 Sep-Oct;11(5):462-9.

Sensory disturbances associated with implant surgery.

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Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



This paper presents a critical review of the literature on neurosensory disturbances associated with implant surgery.


The reviewed literature includes mainly retrospective implant studies and patients' surveys, as well as a few prospective psychophysical studies on sensory disorders following maxillofacial surgeries.


The available data suggest that injury to the peripheral branches of the trigeminal nerve and subsequent sensory disturbances are potential complications following implant surgery. Cross-sectional studies suggest that gross tactile sensation was regained in the vast majority of patients. However, data on the spatial and temporal patterns of recovery of this and other somatic sensation such as fine touch, nociception, and temperature sense after implant surgery is still lacking. The prevalence of sensory disturbances depends on several factors: the site of implant placement, the type of surgical procedures adopted, the design of the studies, the sensitivity of the testing methods, the choice of the outcome measures, and the terminology used to describe sensory disturbances. Extreme variation in the reported prevalence of neurosensory disturbances (0% to 100%) suggest that these problems have not been adequately evaluated.


Although sensory disturbances are transient in the majority of implant patients, their profound impact on the quality of life of the subjects affected and the possibility that they may persist clearly indicate that they should be identified and evaluated through prospective studies, using validated testing protocols and outcome measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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