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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2118
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 34 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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My lower lip is still numb four weeks after getting a filling.

Customer Question

My lower lip is still numb four weeks after getting a filling. Some say it will clear up on its own and that it may take two years. What if it doesn't heal itself? Is there anything that can be done to fix it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to Justanswer.I will do my best to answer your question.I am not a great typist,be patient and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.Nerve trauma from an injection can take up to six months or more to heal.Are you having full numbness right now or do you feel any tingling sensation at all.What part of the lower lip is actually numb and is it on one side only.Which tooth was being worked on when this occurred?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I feel a tingling sensation. It starts on the part of the lip on which you would put lipstick, but I feel most of the tingling starting just below. It continues from the lip edge downward for about a half inch to three quarters of an inch (not all the way to the bottom of my face which is why I didn't use the word "chin".) It is only on the left side. I think the dentist was working on the third tooth from the back on the left (not counting the wisdom tooth which was removed many years ago). I think she called it a premolar. What happened to cause this? I've had numerous fillings over the years, and this has never happened before. Was the needle improperly placed? Was the nerve damaged? Can anything be done about it, or do I just have to wait? Is it likely it will disappear on its own? If I could be told the cause, I could understand better how it will be resolved. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.
The fact that the lip is tingling is a good sign.What probably happened was when the dentist was giving the local anesthetic...she hit the mental nerve which is right at the premolar area.This nerve exits at the base of the premolars and it is difficult to know exactly where it is.This tingling numb feeling should correct itself in time but nerve trauma can take 6 months to heal.There is really nothing that you can do about it even though it is very annoying.The rule is for healing... skin 6 days,bone 6 weeks, nerve 6 months.The fact that it is not totally numb is a good sign.It is not really the dentists fault because you can really not see where the nerve exists under the tissue.You should let your dentist know what has happened so that she can perfect her technique in the future.If there are any other questions please ask..if not please select the accept answer option
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2118
Experience: Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 34 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
Dr. Katz and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I received an email today offering more help if I needed it. (I used your service last week.) I have another question about the same issue, but if I will be charged another $12, please do not answer it. It's not worth $12 to me. I know you said it's a good sign, but does the fact that there is tingling and not total numbness in my lip mean that it is likely to heal? Or, is there a chance that this partial numbness is permanent? Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 2 years ago.

I do not have any control over the charges but I consider this a follow up so hopefully there should be no charge and I certaimly don't mind answering your question because I feel it is certainly related.Tingling and not total numbness does mean that the lip should continue to heal and that is a good sign.

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