Objective: To determine the prevalence and the clinical features of patients with neuropathic pain and sensory alterations after dental implant placement.
Background: Literature is very scarce concerning the prevalence of neuropathic pain after dental implant placement.
Patients and methods: A retrospective cohort study was made in patients submitted to dental implant placement in the Dental Hospital of the University of Barcelona. A descriptive analysis of the data was made, and the 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated for the prevalences.
Results: The study sample was composed of 1156 subjects of whom, 1012 patients (3743 dental implants) met the study inclusion criteria. Four hundred and seventeen patients (41.2%) were male and 595 (58.8%) were female, with a mean age of 60.7 years (range 16-90 years). Three patients were diagnosed as having painful post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy (PPTN), which corresponds to a prevalence of 0.3% (95% CI: 0%-0.6%). Additionally, 5 patients (0.5%; 95% CI: 0%-1.07%) presented trigeminal neuropathy without pain (TNWP). The combined prevalence of both disorders was 0.8% (95% CI: 0.02%-1.3%). All patients with PPTN and TNWP were 60 years old or older, with a total combined prevalence of 1.48% (95% CI: 0.46%-2.5%) in this age group. Additionally, the prevalence in this age group for women was 1.85% (95%CI: 0.38%-3.31%).
Conclusions: Neuropathic pain after dental implant placement is very infrequent (0.3%) in a University Oral Surgery department. However, the presence of trigeminal neuropathies can be slightly higher and can affect up to 0.5% of patients. Older female patients seem to be more prone to this rare and disabling complication.
Keywords: dental implants; inferior alveolar nerve; neuropathic pain; paraesthesia; trigeminal neuropathy.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S and The Gerodontology Association. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.