Root Canal Injuries

Atlanta Root Canal Injury Attorney

The most common injury from negligent root canals is a dental nerve injury and these injuries are often serious and permanent. Dental nerve injuries are always an upsetting event for those unfortunate enough to experience them. More often than not, these injuries are debilitating and permanent. A number of nerves can be damaged during dental procedures, but the inferior alveolar nerve (“IAN”) and the mental nerve (“MN”) are the two nerves most frequently injured by root canals when the dentist performed the root canal below the standard of care.

Inferior Alveolar Nerve Injury

Symptoms commonly experienced after the inferior alveolar nerve or the mental nerve have been injured include:

  • Numbness or pain in the chin, lips, and gums;
  • A tingling or electrical shock sensation in the chin, lips, and gums;
  • A burning pain in the chin, lips, and gums;
  • Drooling;
  • Impaired speech.

Root Canal Overfill or Over-Instrumentation

When root canal filling materials are overextended they can enter the underlying main sensory nerve in the lower part of the jaw or enter into the sinus in the upper jaw and burn the delicate dental nerve tissue. A constant lack of sensation and/or pain and discomfort in the chin and lip is indicative of overfill of the lower posterior (back) teeth.Your dentist should be consulted immediately if sharp pain and/or numbness continues 8 hours after root canal therapy has been performed. There is a short window of opportunity in which these nerve injuries must be treated and the failure to do so can result in permanent nerve damage.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes extreme pain in the eyes, forehead, jaws, lips, nose, and/or scalp. Many dental malpractice victims are diagnosed with this condition when they have suffered a traumatic dental nerve injury which is hard to pinpoint. However, this is an imprecise diagnosis and a nerve specialist should be consulted in order to determine exactly which nerve is injured and what the treatment options are. The treatment options available to someone who has been injured by a negligent root canal depend on which nerve or other facial structure is injured by the root canal. Negligent root canals can penetrate and injure the lingual nerve, inferior alveolar nerve or sinus cavities.


Trigeminal neuralgia is among the most painful conditions. Touching or even gentle air currents can set off terrible occurrences of severe pain and discomfort. In some cases, the injured patient feels persistent pain that is similar to a migraine on top of a stabbing pain. Therefore, it disrupts one’s quality of life since it can be set off by routine activities performed in one’s day-to-day life. Though not lethal, episodes of trigeminal neuralgia and the fear of triggering an attack can be debilitating to sufferers.

Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain

Trigeminal neuropathic pain is a condition that occurs when one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve are injured. It results from nerve injury following dental procedures and other facial injuries. The pain is usually constant and commonly accompanied by a burning or crawling sensation. A loss of feeling on the face or forehead has also been documented among sufferers.


Trigeminal neuralgia frequently occurs during root canal procedures resulting in an over extension of a file or overfill beyond the apex of the root.


Micro vascular decompression, radio-frequency rhizotomy, glycerol rhizotomy, balloon rhitzotomy, and stereotactic radio-surgery and medication are used in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The aforementioned treatments are also used to treat atypical trigeminal neuralgia, but with a lower success rate. Anti-seizure medications, like Lyrica, Neurontin, Tegretol, and Trileptal are also used to treat the painful symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. Surgery to reduce the pressure on the nerve or to interrupt pain signals that are sent to the brain might also be considered.

Call Attorney Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online if you have suffered a permanent nerve injury from dental malpractice and would like to discuss you case in confidence with an experienced Atlanta dental malpractice attorney.

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