Facial Trauma and Injuries

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained, skilled, and uniquely qualified to manage and treat various forms of facial trauma and injuries. Dr. Jason LeMoine, Dr. Vijay Parmar, Dr. Bradley Koch, and Dr. Charles Ellis are on staff at local hospitals and deliver emergency room coverage for facial injuries, which include the following conditions:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intra oral lacerations
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, and eye socket)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)

There are a number of possible causes of facial trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, sports injuries, interpersonal violence, and work-related injuries. Types of facial injuries can range from teeth injuries to extremely severe injuries of facial skin and bones. Typically, facial injuries are classified as either 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

When soft tissue injuries such as lacerations occur on the face, they are repaired by suturing. In addition to preserving aesthetic appearance, care is taken to inspect and treat injuries to facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts. A well-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon is proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of facial lacerations.

Bone Injuries

Facial fractures are broken bones anywhere on the face and are treated in a manner similar to fractures in other parts of the body. When an arm or a leg is fractured, a cast is often applied to stabilize the bone and allow for proper healing. Since a cast cannot be placed on the face, other means have been developed to stabilize facial fractures.

Previously, for many fractures of the upper and lower jaw, the only option was to wire the jaws together. Now many jaw fractures can be treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small plates and screws, or “rigid fixation” of a fracture. This treatment has profoundly improved the healing and recovery period for many patients, allowing them to return to normal function more quickly.

Injuries To The Teeth & Surrounding Dental Structures

If a tooth is knocked out, it should be placed in salt water or milk. Never attempt to wipe the tooth off because the attached remnants of the ligament holding the tooth in the jaw are vital to the successful replanting of the tooth. The sooner the tooth is re-inserted into the dental socket, the better chance it will survive.

These types of injuries need to be treated by an experienced oral surgeon using a method of splinting.

To review your treatment options for facial trauma or injuries, schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon.