A Survey of the Opinion and Experience of UK Dentists: Part 2

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Abstract

Background:

Dental implant–related iatrogenic injuries are proportionally increasing with dental implant surgery. This study assessed the experience of implant-related trigeminal nerve (TG) injuries among UK dentists. Risk management strategies and management of implant-related inferior alveolar nerve (IAN), mental nerve (MN), and lingual nerve injuries were investigated.

Methods:

A survey was distributed among 405 dentists attending an Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) congress, of which 187 completed the survey.

Results:

Most dentists (76% of 134 responses) allowed a 2 to 4 mm safety zone radiologically above the IAN when placing implants, and over half of the responders (56%) used implants that were 10 mm in length. The most frequent precautionary measure used by 73 (80%) responders was antibiotic coverage routinely to reduce the risk of infection when placing grafts in the posterior mandible. Other precautionary measures included unilateral staging of implant placement (57%), and 43% always identified the MN when placing implants. Nineteen dentists used steroids (eg, dexamethasone) routinely preoperatively and postoperatively. Twenty-six dentists used basic cone-beam CT (CBCT) minimally invasive techniques, and drill stops during implant placement were used by 14 responders. Although it is not highly recommended, steroids were used to manage the neuropathic pain and discomfort experienced by patients with IAN injuries in 40% of cases.

Conclusion:

Further training of dentists undertaking implant surgery is required so that they acquire up-to-date and evidence-based knowledge and skills in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of dental implant–related TG injuries. This training should also involve the justification and interpretation of CBCTs.

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