In February 2009 I had a second and third lower molar extraction. The surgical extraction was difficult and resulted in lingual nerve damage. I was sent to have a Cone Beam scan to take a look at the nerve. It seems to me that the scan could have been done before the surgery to locate the lingual nerve so as not to hurt it. I believe this Cone Beam scan is a new technology and would like to know if more oral surgeons are using these scans to protect patients from injury before surgery.
The responsibility of the surgeon is to use the best possible techniques to ensure that success of any dental procedure. Often panoramic, regular dental x rays, CT, or increasingly cone beam ct scans are used before an extraction appointment. Even with all these techniques, injury can sometimes occur during surgery leading to nerve damage.
In terms of additional information about Cone Beam CT, I would check out this post on Cone Beam. For many clinicians, Cone Beam CT is the standard of care for implant dentistry.