Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialist trained to manage and treat facial trauma. There are an infinite number of ways in which the face can be damaged and thus need some type of reconstruction. Accidents, falls, automobile crashes and interpersonal violence are among the most common causes. Some of the main types of facial injuries resulting from these instances are lacerations, fractured teeth, fractured jaws, fractured facial bones, knocked out teeth and intraoral lacerations.
Reasons for Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Aside from the obvious aesthetic reasons for repairing damage to the face, there are also a number of serious health and dental concerns that can arise from even a small amount of trauma. No facial injury should be taken lightly. Depending on the exact location of the injury, respiration, speech, vision, hearing, and swallowing can be greatly impaired.
Often Dr. Gray treats broken facial bones in the hospital and in his office. Damage to the teeth often accompanies other injuresand reallt should be dealt with quickly. Failure to treat dental and facial trauma can lead to the following longer term problems:
Loss of Functionality: When teeth have fallen victim to trauma, they may become loose in their sockets and make eating and speaking much more difficult.
Smile Aesthetics: Chipped, broken or missing teeth can be detrimental to a beautiful smile.
- Bite/Jaw Irregularities: After trauma, it is possible that a patient's bite can become badly aligned. Trismus and an inability to open ones mouth if not dealt with can become permanent. This can lead to TMJ dysfunction, uneven teeth wear and other complications.
What does correcting facial trauma involve?
If facial bones have been fractured or broken, they will be treated in much the same way as any other broken bone. Of course, a plaster cast cannot be applied to a cheekbone, but the bones can be held firmly together by either wiring or the insertion of small plates and screws. Soft tissue lacerations will be treated immediately by way of suture (stitching). This can be done in office in some cases or in a hospital based setting.
In cases where a tooth has been knocked cleanly out of the mouth, there is still a possibility of reinserting it. The quicker a re-insertion can be performed, the greater the likelihood that the natural tooth will survive. In the event that the tooth lacks the ligaments necessary for reinsertion, the dentist can implant a prosthetic tooth to restore both functionality and aesthetic appearance. The dentist can also “splint” displaced teeth using structural support such as bonding or wiring with a good amount of success. Root canal therapy is also a possibility for loose or broken teeth. Dental implants may also be an important adjunct.
Your surgeon will conduct a thorough examination and take various x-rays in order to determine the precise condition of the afflicted area and plan a course of action. Pain medication will be prescribed as necessary, and you’ll be given post treatment advice for your recovery.