A Case of Needle Breakage during Dental Local Anesthesia: Prevention and Medico Legal Considerations


  • Francesca Zangari Private Practice of Dentistry and Forensic Odontology, Ravenna, Italy




Dental anesthesia, dental needle, broken dental needle, nerve block, inferior alveolar nerve.


Despite the development of stainless, flexible alloys used in modern, disposable dental needles, reports of needle breaking during the administration of local anesthesia still occur.

Although uncommon, the breakage of needles remains one of the most distressing complications of local anesthesia, since it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening consequences by violating adjacent vital anatomical structures; however, it is also one of the easiest to prevent. A meticulous injection technique is imperative and, if breakage occurs, the situation must be resolved appropriately.

Through the description of a case of needle breakage during inferior alveolar nerve block, the author discusses how it is possible to prevent this potentially severe event and the importance of its correct management in the light of possible medico legal consequences.


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