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Dental Anesthesia

Facial paralysis

06/02/2008

Question:

i had a root canal procedure done on tooth #3 on right side. went well and next day woke with facial paralysis on left side of face. it`s been one week and i`m healing slowly. doctors can`t pinpoint if it was from root canal or a virus. does this happen to patients? i`m going in for a crown molding this week and i`m scared that it will set my healing back when they start working in my mouth again. what should i do?

Answer:

I am sorry you are having difficulty. If you were fine after the procedure, this sounds like a Bell's Palsy that you were likely diagnosed with. This is unrelated to actual procedure directly. There is some speculation that any type of surgical procedure of the face or mouth (not only dentistry), may change the local environment or central nervous system influences and cause expression of this condition. As you know, this usually resolves slowly over time. I am sure your physicians have worked you up for other possible causes but if not, you should see your primary care physician or a neurologist.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University