There are millions of cases of facial trauma admitted each year to hospitals in the United States. Whether you have a major facial injury that requires hospitalization or a minor oral injury, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained specialists in the treatment of oral and facial trauma. In fact, oral surgeons can be busy members of any emergency room trauma team.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete intensive training during their education that allows them to address a wide range of surgical problems. After completing four or more years of comprehensive surgical training and medical education, in addition to their dental school training, they are extremely qualified experts in repairing jaw function, restoring the aesthetics of facial proportions, and replacing damaged or missing teeth.
It is important to know that each facial trauma case is unique. There are several different ways that the face and mouth can be affected by trauma situations. Some of the more frequent facial trauma injuries include
- Avulsed (knocked-out) teeth
- Facial lacerations
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, or eye socket)
- Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
- Oral lacerations
What causes facial trauma?
Numerous events can contribute to facial trauma injuries, including falls, sports injuries, physical assaults, automobile accidents, work-related injuries, and accidents in the home. The kind of injury sustained will determine the course of treatment that is necessary. Minor injuries, such as knocked-out teeth or a facial laceration, may only require a dental implant or sutures while serious incidents may involve a more complex approach and require more than one treatment. The most common kinds of facial trauma injury include
- Soft Tissue Injuries. Soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations, occur on the face and are commonly repaired with sutures. Dr. Kunkel takes special care and carefully inspects all soft tissue injuries to ensure the most aesthetically pleasing cosmetic outcome and make sure that damage has not occurred in other important areas of the face such as the salivary glands, facial nerves, and salivary ducts.
- Bone Injuries. In general, bone injuries to the mouth or jaw are treated like the fractures in other parts of the body. Treatment for fracture stabilization and healing varies. Sometimes wiring the jaws together or placing small surgical plates and screws within the area of injury will correct the damage. Dr. Kunkel takes great care to ensure that the patient’s facial appearance and function are restored.
- Injuries to the Teeth and Dental Structures. Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common. Oral surgeons treat fractures in the supporting bone or have to replant teeth that have been knocked out. If injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, bone grafting and dental implants are often utilized as the best form of replacement for missing teeth.
It is important to treat cases of facial trauma in a timely manner to avoid the long-term problems that may arise if left untreated. If you have suffered a facial injury of any sort, we encourage you to contact Pikes Peak Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center immediately. We are compassionate about helping to restore oral and maxillofacial function and aesthetics to every patient who has been in a trauma situation.