When accidents happen, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are here to help. Facial trauma refers to any unexpected force to the face that results in any injury to the teeth, bones, or soft-tissue of the face.
These injuries can affect vital functions, like breathing through the nose or blinking. They are associated with mishaps like car accidents and sports injuries, and typically demand emergency care.
Soft Tissue Injuries
In the event of soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations on the face, suturing is the preferred method of repair. Apart from ensuring the best possible cosmetic outcome, it is important to thoroughly examine the affected area to detect and address any potential damage to facial nerves, salivary glands, and ducts that are responsible for the outflow of saliva.
Dr. Hussainy is a well-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon and is proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of facial lacerations.
The treatment of bone injuries in the maxillofacial region depends on the type and severity of the injury. Minor injuries may not require any treatment other than rest and pain management. However, more severe injuries, such as complex fractures or dislocations, may require surgery to realign and stabilize the bones.
Treatment options for bone injuries of the maxillofacial region include:
- Immobilization: For minor fractures or dislocations, immobilization with a splint or a soft diet may be enough to allow the bone to heal. Immobilization prevents the movement of the broken bones, allowing them to fuse back together.
- Reduction: This involves repositioning the broken bone back into its original position. This is usually done under local anesthesia or conscious sedation. After reduction, the bone may be immobilized with a splint or a cast.
- Surgery: Severe bone injuries may require surgical intervention to repair the damage. Surgery may involve the use of plates, screws, or wires to hold the bone in place while it heals. In some cases, bone grafts may be necessary to replace missing or damaged bone.
- Rehabilitation: After the initial treatment, rehabilitation may be necessary to help restore function and strength to the affected area. This may include exercises to improve range of motion and strength, as well as speech therapy in cases where the injury affects speech.
Trauma to the Teeth & Surrounding Dental Structures
It's not uncommon for teeth to sustain injuries on their own, and addressing them may require the assistance of different dental specialists. Oral surgeons are typically called upon to handle fractures in the supporting bone or to reposition teeth that have been dislodged or knocked out. To address such injuries, a variety of splinting techniques, which involve stabilizing the affected teeth by either bonding or wiring them together, may be employed.
If a tooth is completely knocked out of your mouth, time is of the essence. The tooth should be handled very gently, avoiding touching the root surface itself. If it is dirty, quickly and gently rinse it in water. Do not use soap or any other cleaning agent, and never scrape or brush the tooth. If possible, the tooth should be placed back into its socket as soon as possible. The less time the tooth is out of its socket, the better the chance for saving it.
Once the tooth has been put back in its socket, your dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate it and will check for any other dental or facial injuries. If the tooth has not been placed back into its socket, your dentist will clean it carefully and replace it. A stabilizing splint will be placed for a few weeks. Depending on the stage of root development, an endodontist may start root canal treatment a week or two later. In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, you can replace a missing tooth with a dental implant.