Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely trained qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. Facial injuries are physically and emotionally traumatic. Treating facial injury requires proficiency in emergency care, acute treatment and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation. It also requires understanding how treatment will affect a patient’s physical appearance, long-term function, and self-confidence.
The specialists at Oral Surgery Associates are on staff at local hospitals and provide emergency room coverage for facial injuries. They treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
- Facial lacerations
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, or eye socket)
- Fractured jaws
- Intraoral lacerations
Causes and Types of Maxillofacial Trauma
Causes of facial trauma
- Accidental falls
- Interpersonal violence
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Work-related injuries
Types of facial injuries
- Soft tissue injuries (skin and gums)
- Bone injuries (fractures)
- Injuries to special regions (eyes, facial nerves, or the salivary glands)
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations on the face, are repaired by suturing. Care is taken to provide best cosmetic result possible and treat any damage to facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts (or outflow channels). Our specialists are proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of soft tissue injuries.
Facial bone fractures are treated similarly to fractures in other parts of the body. The actual treatment is determined by various factors, including:
- Age of the patient
- General health of the patient
- Location of the fracture
- Severity of the fracture
Unlike an arm or leg that is fractured, a cast cannot be placed on the face to stabilize the bone and facilitate proper healing. Other options are used, including wiring the jaws together or rigid fixation. Instead of wiring the jaws, rigid fixation uses small plates and screws to stabilize the jaw. This relatively recent development has resulted in a faster recovery period for many patients, allowing them to return to normal function.
Well-planned surgery has the following benefits:
- Predictable results
- Minimally affects the patient’s facial appearance
- Requires as few incisions as possible
- Makes small incisions so the scar is hidden
Injuries to the Teeth & Surrounding Dental Structures
Injuries to teeth may require the expertise of several dental specialists.
- Oral surgeons – Replant teeth that have been displaced or knocked out. They also treat fractures in the bone that supports teeth. These injuries are treated by various forms of splinting teeth (wiring or bonding them together). Injured teeth that can’t be saved are replaced with dental implants.
- If one of your teeth is knocked out, place it in salt water or milk. Don’t wipe it off, because it can damage ligaments that are vital to the success of replanting the tooth. Promptly re-inserting the tooth into the dental socket increases the chances of saving it. See a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible.
- Endodontists – Perform root canal therapy to remove damaged pulp and fill the tooth.
- Restorative dentists – Repair or rebuild fractured teeth. If a dental implant is needed, the restorative dentist provides the replacement crown.
Call us at Oral Surgery Associates & Dental Implant Centers to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists, or request an appointment online.