Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained, skilled, and uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. These physicians are well versed in emergency care, acute treatment, and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation. Facial injuries impart a high degree of physical and emotional trauma to patients. The science and art of treating these injuries requires specialized training and experience and the physician must understand how the provided treatments will influence a patient’s long-term function and appearance.
The Oral & Facial Surgery Center meets the modern standards of treating facial trauma. Our surgeons are on staff at local hospitals and
deliver emergency room care for facial traumas. Cosmetic repair for the
following facial injuries is also provided at our surgery center:
- Facial lacerations
- Intra oral lacerations
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose or eye socket)
- Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
The Nature of Maxillofacial Trauma
There are a number of possible causes of facial trauma including motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, sports injuries, interpersonal violence, and work-related injuries. Types of facial injuries can range from damaged teeth to severe trauma to the skin and bones of the face. Typically facial injuries are classified as soft tissue injuries (skin and gums), bone injuries (fractures), or injuries to special regions (such as the eyes, facial nerves or the salivary glands).
Soft Tissue Injuries of The Maxillofacial Region
Soft tissue injuries are generally repaired with suturing. A great deal of care is taken to inspect and treat injuries to facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts (outflow channels), while providing repairs that yield the greatest cosmetic results possible. The Oral & Facial Surgery Center doctors are highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons they are proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of facial lacerations.
Bone Injuries of The Maxillofacial Region
Fractures to the bones of the face are treated similarly to fractures in other regions of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors including location of the fracture, severity of the fracture, and age and general health of the patient.
One method includes wiring the jaws together. Other types of fractures are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small plates and screws to the injured area. This treatment technique, known as rigid fixation, allows for healing and obviates the necessity for jaw wiring. The recent development of rigid fixation has profoundly improved recovery periods for many patients.
Our maxillofacial surgeons at the Oral & Facial Surgery Center treat all facial fractures in a thorough and uniform manner. To protect the patient’s facial appearance, our doctors attempt to access facial bones through the fewest incisions possible. Necessitated incisions are small, and when possible, are placed in areas where the resultant scar is hidden.
Since a cast cannot be placed on the face, other means have been developed to stabilize facial fractures. One method includes wiring the jaws together. Other types of fractures are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small plates and screws to the injured area. This treatment technique, known as rigid fixation, allows for healing and obviates the necessity for jaw wiring. The recent development of rigid fixation has profoundly improved recovery periods for many patients.
Injuries to the Teeth and Surrounding Dental Structures
Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common and may require the expertise of various dental specialists. Oral surgeons are usually involved in treating fractures in the supporting bone or in replanting teeth that have been displaced or knocked out. These types of injuries are treated by various forms of splinting (stabilization by wiring or bonding teeth together). If a tooth is knocked out, it should be immediatley placed in salt water or milk. Because the timely re-insertion of the tooth into the dental socket maximizes the chance of tooth survival, patients should see a dentist or an oral surgeon as soon as possible following damage to dental structures. Never attempt to wipe off a dislodged tooth; remnants of the ligament that attaches the tooth in the jaw are attached and are vital to the success of replanting the tooth. Endodontists may be called upon to perform root canal therapy and/or restorative dentists may be needed to repair or rebuild
fractured teeth. In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved, dental implants are often utilized as replacements for missing teeth.