how long will my face be numb before I decide that I have permanent nerve damage?

I had my wisdom teeth out about six weeks ago. In a pre-examination of my x-rays, the surgeon specifically mentioned that my bottom-right wisdom tooth was a bit close to the nerve, but “not too close, so there won’t be any permanent nerve damage.”

Six weeks out from the surgery, I have a numb patch on my face, covering the right half of my bottom lip, chin, and part of my jaw. It’s not entirely sensation-less; It’s only about half-numb, but just enough to be irritating and feel weird. Because of this, shaving feels very bizarre, and I continually bite the inside of my mouth in that area by accident.

So, what’s going on? Am I fucked for life, or will this gradually return to normal? One comfort is that for the first two weeks, it was completely numb, and then sensation gradually returned - but seems to have stopped at “only halfway.”

Also - if this is permanent - is that malpractice? I’m not a litigous guy, but it seems awfully irresponsible if permanent damage was done when it was made particularly clear that it wasn’t a risk.

I would say that it’s probably not permanent. I had a basal cell carcinoma (slow-growing skin cancer) removed from my forehead some years ago, and one major nerve got severed (not the doctor’s fault - it was unavoidable). That left me with a wedge-shaped piece of my scalp numb. Brushing my hair felt very, very odd, just like shaving feels weird to you right now.

Well, it took a year or two, but nerves gradually grew back into that part of my scalp. There’s no residual effect at all.

You could sue for malpractice, but even if you won, the jury probably wouldn’t award you more than about $100. It’s not like your life has been ruined. Part of your face is kinda numb.

Oh, i’m not worried about suing or anything, as much as using this as a bit of leverage in disputing the inflated bill they’re trying to hit me up with now ($300 more than quoted, even after they “pre-authorized” this with my insurance company. But that’s another thread).

My wisdom teeth were kinda entangled with the nerves too - after I had them out (good lord, was it really ten years ago?) I had a crazy tingling on one side of my jaw. It stuck around for a couple months, and then one day I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt it. So yeah, it may not be permanent.

When I had mine taken out they told me not to even start worrying about it until it’s still numb after six months. Luckily, I didn’t have any troubles with numbness, though it did take a little over a year for the holes to close.