Necrosis of the skin of the chin a possible complication of inferior alveolar nerve block injection

Eulàlia Torrente-Castells, Jordi Gargallo-Albiol, Alfonso Rodríge-Baeza, Leonardo Berini-Aytes, Cosine Gay-Escoda

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The literature describes different local complications derived from a local anesthetic. The authors present a report of a case of such a complication -a complication of which they have identified only one other similar case in the literature. Case Description. A 10-year-old girl received an inferior alveolar nerve block injection for a dental restoration on the right side. After the procedure, she developed pallor of the right side of the lower lip and chin that subsequently evolved into a surface ulceration. The lesion suddenly healed 15 days later. The authors ruled out self-inflicted injury, intraoperative injury and skin infection as causes. Conclusions and Clinical Implications. On the basis of the clinical manifestations and affected anatomical structures, the authors postulated skin necrosis secondary to vascular spasm of the terminal branches of the inferior alveolar artery. Even when clinicians use the utmost care, this kind of complication can occur as a result of an inferior alveolar nerve block injection. The practitioner should diagnose the problem appropriately and reassure the patient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1630
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Inferior alveolar artery
  • Inferior alveolar nerve block
  • Skin necrosis


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