Objectives: To investigate the effect of persistent neurosensory disturbance of the lingual nerve (LN) or inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) on life satisfaction and depression symptoms.
Methods: This study recruited patients with persistent LN or IAN deficit as a consequence of lower third molar surgery for 12 months or more to form the study group. A control group was formed by matching age and gender of recruited subjects in the study group with patients without the neurosensory complications. Life satisfaction was assessed with Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) and depression symptoms were assessed with 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CESD-20).
Results: Fourty-eight participants (24 cases and 24 controls) were recruited. Patients with LN or IAN deficits after lower third molar surgery were less satisfied with their lives when compared to the control group (p<0.001). They were presenting with more depression symptoms (p = 0.001). 45.8% of the study group subjects had a CESD-20 score of 16 or above. Older patients presented with more depression symptoms among the subjects with neurosensory disturbance after lower third molar surgery (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Individuals with permanent trigeminal neurosensory deficit after lower third molar surgery have worse life satisfaction and more depressive symptoms when compared to those who did not suffer from the surgical complication.