Restore Function Following a Traumatic Incident
Facial trauma refers to any sort of trauma to the head, neck, mouth, or face, and is often the result of a sports injury, workplace injury, car accident, and more. Facial trauma can result in injuries ranging from tooth damage and facial cuts to fractured bones and dislocated joints.
Following dental school, oral surgeons are required to complete a hospital-based residency. This gives the surgeon hands-on experience in a hospital setting and includes the specialized training required to treat facial trauma. Many oral surgeons are staffed at local hospitals, where they are on-call to treat facial trauma cases.
Treatment and Types of Trauma
The treatment for your condition will largely depend on the type and severity of the injury you’ve sustained. We will develop and explain your personalized treatment plan at your consultation appointment. During this first visit, we will also discuss anesthesia and sedation options to ensure your comfort during treatment, as well as take 3D CBCT scans to get detailed images of your condition.
The most common minor facial injuries that we treat are lacerations, also known as cuts. Often, these conditions can be treated with simple suturing, and our doctors are extensively trained in stitching techniques to promote healing and produce minimal scarring.
Much like any other bone, facial bones must be stabilized before they can heal properly. Unlike other bones, however, facial bones cannot be put into a cast and left to heal. Instead, tiny screws, wires, and plates beneath the skin are used to keep the facial bones in place.
A dental injury can range anywhere from a cracked tooth to a knocked-out tooth. In minor instances of tooth damage, dentists may be able to repair or restore the tooth. When a tooth is too damaged or fully knocked out, however, an oral surgeon is often called in for treatment. In some cases, when patients can bring in a knocked-out tooth within 30 minutes of the injury, oral surgeons can reinsert it. When reinsertion isn’t possible, dental implants and other tooth replacement solutions are available.
Prevent Facial Trauma
The first and most important rule for preventing facial trauma is to always wear protective headgear. This will vary depending on the activity or sport. It’s important to remember that if there is any risk at all that your head could come into contact with anything or anyone else, you should be protected.
Mouth guards are great, too! All children, teens, and adults who engage in recreational activities should wear a comfortable, properly fitted mouth guard that does not restrict breathing, resists tearing, and is easy to clean. For more information on mouth guards and how to ensure you select the right one, you can learn more about trauma and protection on the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website.