Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are experts in treating and repairing facial injury and trauma, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws and the orbits surrounding the eyes, and facial lacerations. Their knowledge of how jaws come together (dental occlusion) is critical when repairing complex facial fractures. Many of the techniques that are standard in today’s hospital emergency rooms were developed by Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, in combat hospitals during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and today’s international conflicts.
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.
Why Facial 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 and swallowing can be greatly impaired.
Failure to diagnose and 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. The dentist is able to repair chips, fractures and missing teeth easily.
- Bite/Jaw Irregularities: After trauma, it is possible that the teeth will become badly aligned. The poor alignment of the teeth can lead to TMJ, uneven teeth wear and other complications.
Correcting Facial Trauma
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 and sutured.
Please do not take any facial injury lightly, and always play smart and wear proper protection.