Facial injuries can be painful and time-consuming, especially ones that involve dental surgeries. They are costly, have long recovery periods and can have quite a significant toll on the body and the mind. But hey, these things happen. They are usually caused by motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, slip and falls or violent acts, but sometimes freak accidents at home or work can lead to a facial injury too. Whatever the case may be, they are not impossible, and they can be fixed.
Facial injuries or trauma, also known as maxillofacial injuries, include injuries to the mouth, teeth, face, and jaw. They are treated by oral surgeons who are competent enough to deal with both the physical and emotional impacts of facial injuries and ensure their patients are fully rehabilitated.
Injuries and Their Treatment
Injuries to the Teeth
Injuries to the teeth are among the most popular types of facial injuries treated by oral surgeons and dentists. This type of injury includes teeth that have been chipped, cracked, broken, displaced or knocked out completely. Depending on the number of teeth that are affected by the injury, and the scope of the damage, the dentist or oral surgeon will be able to determine what treatment method is best. This may include dental implants, extraction, bonding or dental fillings.
Here is a helpful tip: If someone’s tooth is knocked out of its socket, the tooth should be placed in milk or saltwater. Do not wash it off. Do not wipe it off but, simply place it in a container with the above liquids. This will ensure that the ligaments which previously held the tooth in place will not be damaged and that the tooth will be able to be reattached to its socket successfully, without the need for titanium dental implants. The sooner the tooth is put back into place, the better its chances are for survival.
Injuries to the Bones
Bone injuries of the maxillofacial region include fractures of the cheek, nose, eye socket and jaw. These fractures must be stabilized immediately by an oral surgeon. While other bones in the body such as ones in the arms or legs are stabilized by using a cast, you cannot put a cast on the face.
For regions such as the jaw and cheek, small plates and screws are surgically implanted to encourage proper healing of the bone. Alternately, the jaw may be wired together, however, this restricts basic functions such as talking and eating, and is not usually the first treatment option offered by facial surgeons.
For the nose, treatment varies from patient to patient. Oral surgery usually only occurs if the nose is crooked and if the airflow is restricted.
For the eye socket, oral surgery usually only occurs if the patient experiences double vision or if the eyeball is ‘sunken’ or recedes into the eye socket.
As mentioned before, treatment methods vary and are determined by the severity of the injury, the age and general health of the patient, as well as the location of the fracture. Oral surgeons strive to return the face to a ‘normal’ appearance, or to at least make the area functional again. The incisions made are usually small to minimize the resultant scar and for aesthetics, of course.
Injuries to the Soft Tissue
Injuries to the soft tissue are usually slashes, gashes or lacerations, and are typically addressed with sutures and stitches. This also includes any injuries to the nerves of the face, salivary glands, and salivary ducts, as well as all other underlying facial structures. The aim here is to repair whilst bearing cosmetic aspects in mind.
For facial injuries, oral surgery is the best option for persons who want to go back to having a normal appearance. Though costly, it is worth it in the end.
If you still have questions or concerns regarding oral surgery for facial injuries, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We’re here to help with anything that we can.