Sensory dysfunction is the most serious complication that occurs after extracting lower third molars in close proximity to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN). Even experienced surgeons have difficulties in avoiding nerve damage when the root is anatomically adjacent to the nerve canal. A useful method for reducing nerve damage during extraction is to perform orthodontic extrusion, in which the distance between the nerve and the root increased after applying an orthodontic force on the third molar while extruding the tooth. Here, we report the case of a 37-year-old female who presented with a partially erupted left lower third molar and risk of IAN nerve damage because of close anatomical proximity between the nerve and root. She underwent extraction using a miniscrew placed in the maxilla and a routine orthodontic mechanism using a cross-arch elastic band that induced a 3-mm vertical eruption in the impacted third molar without using complex orthodontic devices. In addition, tilting the dental axis to the lingual side resolved the proximity between the IAN and the tooth, thereby allowing extraction to proceed without major complications.
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Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The authors have no financial relationships or conflicts of interest to disclose.
© 2021 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Oral Surgery