Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialist trained to manage and treat facial trauma. There are an infinite number of ways in which the face can be damaged and thus need some type of reconstruction, such as: accidents, falls, automobile crashes, and interpersonal violence. 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.
There are three main classifications used by health professionals in their trauma assessment:
Soft Tissue Injuries and Intraoral damage
Avulsed (knocked out) Teeth
Bony Injuries, Fractured facial bones, jaw bones, cheek, nose or eye sockets
Special Regions, such as nerves in the face, the eyes, and the salivary glands.
Reasons for Facial Trauma 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.
Though broken facial bones are generally treated in the emergency room, damage to the teeth can be quickly dealt with by your Oral Surgeon. Failure to 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. Your 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 issues, uneven teeth wear and other complications.
Your Oral Surgeon will conduct a comprehensive consultation which could include panoramic x-rays, I-CAT scan, and radiographs before presenting a treatment plan.