Nerve Repositioning

Nerve Repositioning

Nerve repositioning is a surgical procedure used to relocate or reposition a sensory nerve to a new location within the oral cavity. This technique is commonly employed in dentistry, particularly in dental implant surgery, to mitigate potential damage or disturbance to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) or mental nerve during implant placement in the lower jaw.

By carefully relocating these nerves away from the surgical site, nerve repositioning helps minimize the risk of post-operative sensory disturbances, such as numbness or altered sensation, which can significantly impact patient comfort and quality of life. Additionally, preserving nerve function is crucial for maintaining normal oral function, including speech, chewing, and overall oral health, making nerve repositioning a valuable technique in ensuring successful outcomes in implant dentistry. 

Indications for Nerve Repositioning

Indications for nerve repositioning in dentistry typically arise when dental implant placement poses a substantial risk of nerve injury due to the intricate anatomical structures of the mandibular region. Patients with specific anatomical variations, such as a shallow mandibular canal or a high-riding mental foramen, often necessitate nerve repositioning to mitigate potential complications.

Moreover, individuals with a history of previous dental procedures or trauma in the mandibular area may benefit from nerve repositioning to enhance the safety and predictability of implant surgery. These indications underscore the importance of meticulous assessment and planning to identify patients who would benefit most from this proactive approach, ultimately ensuring optimal outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

Furthermore, nerve repositioning in Huntersville, NC, is indicated in cases where preserving neurosensory function is paramount, particularly in dental implant placement near critical nerve structures. Patients who exhibit signs of compromised nerve integrity, such as sensory disturbances or neuropathic pain, may require nerve repositioning to restore normal sensation and mitigate the risk of exacerbating existing neurosensory deficits.

By addressing these indications proactively, dental practitioners can tailor treatment strategies to meet each patient's specific needs, thereby enhancing the safety, efficacy, and overall success of implant surgery while minimizing the potential for post-operative complications. Contact us today to learn more! 

The Surgical Procedure for Nerve Repositioning 

Preoperative Planning 

  • Before the surgery, our oral surgeon at The Center For Oral Surgery & Dental Implants conducts a thorough examination of the patient's oral anatomy, including detailed imaging studies such as cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). This helps identify the precise location of the target nerve and any anatomical variations that may influence the surgical approach. 
  • The oral surgeon discusses the risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of the nerve repositioning procedure with the patient, ensuring informed consent before surgery. 


  • The surgical site is anesthetized using local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort and minimize discomfort during the procedure. The type and dosage of anesthesia are determined based on the patient's needs and medical history. 

Incision and Access 

  • A small incision is made in the oral mucosa at the predetermined site to access the target nerve. The location and size of the incision are carefully planned to provide adequate visibility and access to the surgical area while minimizing tissue trauma. 
  • Using specialized instruments, our  oral surgeon in Huntersville, NC, gently dissects and retracts the soft tissue to expose the underlying nerve and surrounding anatomical structures. 

Nerve Mobilization 

  • Based on preoperative imaging and anatomical landmarks, the surgeon identifies the target nerve, such as the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) or mental nerve. 
  • With meticulous care and precision, the nerve is dissected free from its surrounding tissues, taking care to avoid excessive tension or trauma. Gentle nerve handling is crucial to preserving its structural integrity and function. 
  • Once freed from its original position, the nerve is carefully mobilized using delicate instruments, allowing for it to be relocated to a safer anatomical site away from the implant site. The extent of nerve mobilization depends on the specific surgical objectives and patient anatomy. 

Repositioning and Securing the Nerve 

  • The repositioned nerve is placed in its new location, away from the surgical field where dental implants will be placed. The surgeon ensures adequate clearance and protection of the nerve to minimize the risk of injury during subsequent implant placement. 
  • The nerve may be secured in its new position using biocompatible materials such as resorbable sutures or collagen membranes. This helps stabilize the nerve and promote optimal healing and integration in its new location. 

Closure and Post-Operative Care 

  • Once the nerve is repositioned and secured, the surgical incision is meticulously closed using sutures or tissue adhesives. Proper wound closure is essential to facilitate optimal healing and minimize the risk of complications such as infection or dehiscence. 
  • The patient receives detailed post-operative instructions, including guidelines for oral hygiene, dietary restrictions, and medication management. Follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor healing progress, assess nerve function, and address any concerns or complications that may arise. 

Nerve repositioning is a cornerstone in modern implant dentistry. It offers a strategic approach to safeguarding vital neural structures and optimizing patient safety during dental implant surgery. Visit The Center For Oral Surgery & Dental Implants at 9713 Northcross Center Court, Suite 100, Huntersville, NC 28078, or call (704) 875-8833 to learn more about nerve repositioning and how it can benefit you.


9713 Northcross Center Court, Suite 100,
Huntersville, NC 28078

Fax: (704) 875-0303

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