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Case report
Transient facial nerve palsy following dental local anaesthesia
  1. Thomas Jenyon1,
  2. Jesse Panthagani2 and
  3. David Green3
  1. 1Ophthalmology, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK
  2. 2Ophthalmology, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Restorative Department, Birmingham Dental Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Thomas Jenyon; tomjenyon{at}


Facial nerve palsy is a rare but known complication of dental local anaesthesia and may be underreported. We describe a case of a transient facial nerve palsy following the administration of an inferior alveolar nerve block and discuss the immediate practical management. Knowing the likely transient nature of this complication means the patient can be reassured and unnecessary referral avoided. While the blink reflex is inhibited, steps are needed in order to protect the cornea and prevent secondary infection and scarring.

  • anaesthesia
  • cranial nerves
  • ophthalmology
  • dentistry and oral medicine

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  • Contributors TJ was the attending ophthalmologist to the case and wrote the first draft. JP provided advice and edited the final draft and DG edited the manuscript and provided dental input.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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