With the advent and much more common use of CBCT dentists can have a much more accurate view of the proximity of lower wisdom teeth to the Inferior Alveolar Nerve. With this knowledge we can more precisely evaluate the risk of nerve damage from removal. When the risk is deemed moderate or higher, a coronectomy may be recommended. That is the surgical removal of the top half of the tooth (all enamel) and allowing the bottom half that is near the nerve to stay in place. A new 3 year study Leung 2012 on this procedure has shown it to be very successful and I feel very comfortable recommending patients to do this if their wisdom teeth are NOT infected in the bone and are close to the nerve. More info Ahmed 2011
- Diversion of the canal
- Darkening of the root
- Narrowing of the root/canal
- Interruption of the canal lamina dura
- Interruption of the juxta‑apical area
Some of these roots later erupted, but they erupt up and away from the nerve so they can then be safely removed.
More info on wisdom teeth extraction