Aims: To perform a scoping review of the literature to elucidate the occurrence of nerve damage related to dental implant placement and the factors causing the sensory changes.
Keywords: dental implants, sensory changes, transient and permanent, trigeminal neuropathy
Methods: An extensive electronic search was conducted using the Cochrane Library, Medline via Ovid, PubMed, Wiley Online, Science Direct, CINAHL, and the Google Scholar databases from the year 1950 to 2020.
Results: The search resulted in 1,067 articles, out of which 76 were selected for this review. The articles were categorized as literature review articles, retrospective studies, prospective studies, and case series/case reports. Altogether, 2,526 subjects were assessed retrospectively, with 5.27% transient and 1.39% persistent sensory changes, and a cohort of 2,750 subjects were followed prospectively, with 6.22% transient and 1.31% persistent sensory changes. A total of 336 subjects were enrolled in various case reports and case series, with 5.95% transient sensory changes and 84.52% persistent neurosensory changes. The articles included were not of high quality and have variations in their study designs and reporting procedures, with limited sensory change data to include in this study.
Conclusion: After surgical placement of dental implants in 5,612 patients, the incidence of transient sensory changes was 5.63%, and the incidence of persistent sensory changes was 6.33%. Factors affecting the incidence were: mandibular location of the implant, with the inferior alveolar nerve as the most commonly affected nerve. The common symptoms reported were paresthesia and dysesthesia. Age and gender were among other factors, for which data were not available in all the articles.