The tongue is essential for tasting, talking, cleaning, and eating. It is a versatile muscle that is innervated by two nerves. One of the nerves that provide sensation to the tongue is the lingual nerve. If it is injured during a dental procedure, it can cause serious problems with the patient’s quality of life. Unfortunately, some people suffer lingual nerve damage during a Florida wisdom tooth extraction because of the negligence of the dentist. The Florida dental malpractice lawyers at Lane & Glassman are experienced in handling dental negligence cases who work to hold negligent dentists accountable for their actions through our representation of our clients. Dr. Stanley W. Lane, D.D.S., J.D., is a board-certified oral maxillofacial surgeon, dentist, and attorney with more than three decades of experience representing the victims of dental malpractice in Florida.
The lingual nerve is a branch of the trigeminal nerve in the mandibular region of the jaw. This nerve runs along the sides of the tongue underneath the muscle around 4.4 millimeters away from the wisdom teeth. It controls the nerve endings and sensation for two-thirds of the front portion of the tongue. If it is damaged, it can cause multiple symptoms.
Most lingual nerve injuries occur during surgeries of the mouth or face. A common surgery that can result in lingual nerve damage is an extraction of a wisdom tooth in the lower jaw. While most lingual nerve injuries will resolve in a few months, some result in permanent damage. Some of the symptoms that you might suffer after a lingual nerve injury include the following:
Suffering a lingual nerve injury can seriously impact your quality of life and can result in emotional distress, difficulty socializing, physical pain, and other problems.
If you believe that your lingual nerve was damaged during a wisdom tooth extraction, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may choose several different treatments to help to alleviate the symptoms. You may be prescribed steroids, anticonvulsives, antidepressants. The doctor might recommend laser treatments or surgical procedures to try to repair the damage and restore sensation. You might also undergo therapy to deal with the emotional and mental health impacts that this type of injury can cause.
In Florida, dentists are supposed to provide treatment in a way that meets the accepted standard of care. When a dentist fails to provide treatment that meets the accepted standard of care and injures a patient because of negligence or incompetence, he or she may be subject to disciplinary action from the Florida Board of Dentistry under FLA. STAT. § 466.028(x). You can file a complaint with the Florida Board of Dentistry when a dentist has negligently injured your lingual nerve. You may also have the right to file a dental malpractice lawsuit against the dentist to recover monetary compensation for your losses under FLA. STAT. § 766.102.
The dental malpractice attorneys at Lane & Glassman can review the facts of what occurred to assess the merits of your potential claim. Dentists can violate the standard of care in several ways. Dentists can be negligent before, during, and after a Florida wisdom tooth extraction. For example, if your dentist failed to check your medical history or to obtain informed consent from you, he or she may have failed to meet the standard of care before your extraction. Dentists can similarly be negligent during the surgery or afterward during post-operative care.
The experienced Florida dental malpractice attorneys at Lane & Glassman can offer an assessment of your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 800.343.0244 or by sending an email to info@LaneGlassman.com.