Alterations to normal oral sensory function can occur following restorative and surgical dental procedures. Paresthesia is defined as an abnormal sensation, such as burning, pricking, tickling, or tingling. Paresthesias are one of the more general groupings of nerve disorders known as neuropathies. This article reviews the extent of this oral complication as it relates to dental and surgical procedures, with specific emphasis on paresthesias associated with local anesthesia administration. This review establishes a working definition for paresthesia as it relates to surgical trauma and local anesthesia administration, describes the potential causes for paresthesia in dentistry, assesses the incidence of paresthesias associated with surgery and local anesthesia administration, addresses the strengths and weaknesses in research findings, and presents recommendations for the use of local anesthetics in clinical practice.
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