The treatment of facial trauma
Facial injury can be challenging to overcome.
Along with physical pain and a potentially long rehabilitation period, there are emotional issues to be taken into consideration. Facial trauma can affect appearance and reconstruction procedures can be mentally draining.
In the event of certain facial traumas, it is vital that a patient sees a maxillofacial surgeon as quickly as possible. In this post, we’ll cover the things you should look for in an oral surgeon and talk about the types and causes of trauma that often require treatment by a maxillofacial specialist.
Common causes of facial trauma
Motor vehicle accidents and sports-related injuries are two of the most common causes of facial trauma but any type of accidental fall can lead to damage.
Scenarios that will likely require the specialized training of an oral surgeon include:
- Knocked out teeth
- Fractures of the jaw, cheek, nose or eye socket
- Severe facial lacerations
- Intra oral lacerations
Damaged teeth will often be bonded together for stabilization during healing. Teeth that have been knocked out and do not survive, or teeth that are fractured beyond repair, are typically replaced with dental implants. Root canal therapy and other restorative dental procedures may be required after the initial healing following emergency care.
Facial fractures are treated in a similar way to any other broken bone in the body. Depending on the location, severity and number of fractures, a patient may need to have their jaw wired shut for a period of time. More recently, a technique known as “rigid fixation” uses small plates and screws to stabilize facial bones and eliminate the need to wire the jaw.
Choosing a doctor
In the event of an emergency you may not have a lot of time to research oral and maxillofacial surgeons-–but try to choose a doctor with the following qualifications:
- Hands-on experience in emergency care
- Well-versed in acute treatment and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation
- A strong understanding of how treatment options will affect both function and appearance
- Training related to helping patients overcome emotional obstacles during the healing process