How common is nerve damage from lower wisdom tooth removal? Is risk lower if teeth have erupted significantly thru gums?

Paresthesia. In regards to wisdom tooth extractions, a patient's risk for experiencing paresthesia is related to the positional relationship between their tooth its associated nerves. Extractions where the roots are not fully formed (younger patients) are less problematic than extractions in adults where the roots are fully formed and near the inferior alveolar nerve.
Common. Damage to the nerve that gives feeling on the lower teeth and lip is a common complication with wisdom teeth removal. Teeth which are erupted are not necessarily lower risk, often the risk is lowest when the tooth is just beginning to form roots and they are physically further from the IA nerve. Hence the common recommendation to have them out at mid to late adolescence. .
LN & the IAN. The surgical removal of lower wisdom teeth endangers both the lingual (LN) and inferior alveolar nerves (IAN). The LN post-operative nerve damage 2%, a permanent disturbance. The IAN post-operative nerve damage 2.2% have a persistent sensory disturbance. The risk is much lower if the tooth has erupted. Choosing the right Oral Surgeon is an important decision.

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