Just like a neurosurgeon will be called upon to treat trauma to the brain, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will be called upon to manage and treat facial trauma cases. While many people may think that occurrences of facial trauma are rare, there are actually thousands of cases of facial trauma throughout the United States admitted each year to hospitals. It is common for oral and maxillofacial surgeons to be busy members of any emergency room trauma team.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive comprehensive training and unique experience during their education that allows them to treat a variety of dental and facial problems. After completing four or more years of extensive surgical training and medical education, in addition to their dental school training, they are the most qualified experts in treating facial trauma cases. Oral surgeons are able to correct the functionality of the jaw, restore aesthetics of facial proportions, and replace damaged or missing teeth.
Each facial trauma case is unique; no two patients are the same nor do they experience identical traumas. While there are several different ways that the face and mouth can be affected by trauma situations, some of the more common facial trauma injuries are
- Avulsed (knocked-out) teeth
- Facial lacerations
- Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, or eye socket)
- Intraoral lacerations
What causes facial trauma?
Common facial trauma incidents can occur through several events, including motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, falls, sports injuries, physical assaults, and accidents in the home. The kind of injury that is incurred will determine the treatment that is necessary to correct the patient’s injury. Minor injuries, which are knocked-out teeth or a simple facial laceration, may only require the placement of dental implants or small sutures. Serious facial trauma incidents may involve a more complex approach and more than one treatment.
Facial trauma injuries should be treated immediately to avoid the long-term problems that may arise. Failure to treat facial trauma can result in serious problems and complications like misalignment of the jaw and bite, resorption of the jaw bone, impacted teeth, development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder within the jaw, and even facial discomfort and disfigurement.
At Boise Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we are passionate about helping to restore oral and maxillofacial function and aesthetics to every patient who has been in a trauma situation. If you have suffered a facial injury of any sort, we encourage you to contact our office immediately.