There are several causes of facial trauma, such as sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, interpersonal violence, accidental falls, and work-related injuries. The types of facial injuries range from moderate to severe (as moderate as injuries to teeth, to extremely severe injuries to the skin and bones of the face). Facial injuries are categorized as soft tissue injuries (skin and gums), bone injuries (fractures), or extraordinary regions (such as facial nerves, eyes or the salivary glands), and include:
- Knocked-out teeth
- Fractured jaws (lower and upper jaw)
- Fractured facial bones (eye socket, cheek, or nose)
- Facial lacerations
- Intra oral lacerations
How are Facial Injuries Treated?
Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries are repaired by suturing with the goal to ensure the best cosmetic results and that your facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts are intact and functioning properly.
Bone Injuries: Fractures to the bones in your face are treated similarly to fractures in other parts of your body. The form of treatment is dependent on the location and severity of the fracture, your age and general health. A cast is often used when an arm or leg is fractured, but since a cast cannot be placed on your face, we have other methods to stabilize facial fractures. Sometimes jaws are wired together for fractures to the upper and/or lower jaw. Other types of jaw fractures are treated by surgically placing small plates and screws at the injury site. This technique is often favored because jaws do not need to be wired together and can still allow for necessary healing. This type of procedure allows patients to return to normal function quickly. We ensure your appearance will be minimally affected by accessing facial bones using the fewest incisions necessary. All necessary incisions are small and placed so the resultant scar is hidden.
Teeth and Surrounding Dental Structures Injuries: Oral surgeons commonly treat fractures in the supporting bone to the injured teeth, or replanting teeth that have been knocked out or displaced. These injuries are treated by a number of forms of splinting (bonding or wiring teeth together). If your tooth is knocked out, it should be placed in salt water or milk to keep it healthy. The tooth needs to be inserted back into the dental socket as soon as possible for the best chance of survival. You should never wipe the tooth off because there may be remnants of the ligament that held the tooth in the jaw and are vital to replanting the tooth successfully.