The inferior alveolar is the nerve that gives feeling to the lower lip and chin. This nerve may need to be moved in order to make room for placement of dental implants to the lower jaw. Since this procedure is considered a very aggressive approach (there is almost always some postoperative numbness of the lower lip and jaw area, which dissipates only very slowly, if ever). Usually other, less aggressive options are considered first.
Typically Dr. Maranon removes the outer section of the lower jawbone in order to expose the nerve and vessel canal. The nerve is isolated and moved out to the side. At the same time Dr. Maranon places the implants with the nerve protected. The nerve is then released and placed back over the implants. The surgical access is refilled with bone graft material and the surgical site is closed.