Facial trauma (or maxillofacial trauma) can happen when you are involved in an injury to your face or jawbone. Such injuries may arise from being in a car accident, a fall, sports injury or work, for example. These may be categorized as soft tissue injuries of your skin or gums, bone injuries like fractures, or trauma to any part of the face, including your eyes, salivary glands and ducts or nerves.
Typical facial trauma might involve the following:
- Skin and intra oral lacerations
- Damage to the orbital (eye) sockets
- Fractures of the cheek, nose, eye socket or jaws
- Obstructed nasal or sinus cavities
- Knocked-out teeth
Facial Trauma & Reconstruction
When facial injuries occur, your best option is to enlist the help of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMSs). Our surgeon is skilled in emergency care and acute treatment as well as the long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation that might be required. Trained to expertly repair trauma to the facial structures, our surgeon is highly equipped to handle the spectrum of injuries, addressing both the physical and emotional healing that might need to take place. This is important as it affects long-term function and cosmetic appearance. This means treating the immediate injury, but also working to minimize any potential scarring that might be left behind.
-Achieving airway control
-Assessing damage to facial structures, glands or nerves
-Suturing lacerations of the soft tissues
-Re-implanting avulsed (knocked-out) teeth (usually within the first half-hour of an injury) or installing a dental implant in the supporting bone.
-Stabilizing broken bones (or hard facial tissues) with biocompatible screws and plates to promote healing
-Reconstructing the facial appearance
Modern Treatment Methods
Thanks to modern technology and surgical techniques, rarely does it require wiring the jaws together or employing external devices or frames. Rather, by focusing on rigid internal fixation, our surgeon can align the fractures into their proper position by using cosmetically applied incisions (as few as possible), to promote a faster recovery time and the resumption of normal function.
In some cases, treatment might involve grafting bone, fat and skin to complete the reconstruction. In all cases, our goal is to minimally affect the facial appearance, resulting in small scars placed in such a way as to be hidden as much as possible.
Prevention is Priceless
While it’s true you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, one effective method of warding off potential facial trauma is to wear protective headgear when engaging in high impact or contact sports. Depending on the sport, this could include a mouth guard, helmet or goggles. This is true whether you are skiing, snowboarding, playing hockey or basketball.
Our team understands how stressful a facial or dental injury can be. If you have sustained a maxillofacial injury and need a skilled oral surgeon, we encourage you to reach out to our office for more information. If you have an oral facial emergency, we will see you as quickly as possible and provide you with the right treatment to help you heal, look and feel your best again.