Permanent damage to inferior alveolar and lingual nerves during the removal of impacted mandibular third molars. Comparison of two methods of bone removal

Injuries to the inferior alveolar or lingual nerve are recognised complications of third molar surgery. In a prospective study, permanent damage was found to be significantly related to bone removal using a surgical drill. The Howarth periosteal elevator may not provide adequate protection to the lingual nerve when a surgical drill is used