Facial trauma is an injury to the face and mouth. The damage from facial trauma can range from mild to severe. In some cases, facial trauma can cause disfigurement or dysfunction that affects the quality of life. For optimal healing and the best outcome possible, facial trauma requires treatment from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS).
The OMS team at DFW Oral Surgeons is highly trained in emergency care, immediate care, long-term care, and facial reconstruction for patients who have suffered facial trauma. We provide care that restores function and minimizes scarring to provide the best functional and aesthetic results possible. If you or someone you love has experienced facial trauma, DFW Oral Surgeons can help.
Types of Facial Trauma
The face is an extraordinarily complex and delicate arrangement of soft tissues, nerves, blood vessels and bones. Depending on the type of trauma and the area it affects, facial trauma can disrupt how these bones and tissues function for everyday activities, such as eating, talking, smiling or using other facial expressions, and more.
There are several types of facial traumas. All can cause mild to severe injury, pain, dysfunction, and cosmetic problems.
The OMS team at DFW Oral Surgeons regularly treats a number of facial traumas, such as:
- Lacerations, or deep cuts, to the facial tissue or inside the mouth; may affect nerves, salivary ducts or glands
- Fractured jaw
- Fractured facial bones, including orbital (eye) sockets, cheekbones, nose or forehead
- Damaged sinus cavities
Causes of Facial Trauma
A number of situations can cause facial trauma, including:
- Vehicle accidents – automobile accidents are the leading cause of facial trauma
- Sports injuries
- Physical altercations
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis and treatment for facial trauma begins with a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the damage. Depending on the nature of the trauma, your oral surgeon may perform angiography to locate potential sources of bleeding and imaging studies, such as x-rays and CT scans, to check for fractured bones. This information helps you and your oral surgeon develop a treatment plan, which can vary according to the type of injury and its severity.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue, such as nerves, blood vessels, salivary glands and salivary ducts, makes up a large portion of the face and mouth. This soft tissue is quite delicate, so injury to them can cause significant damage that affects how the tissue functions. Facial trauma can also have a significantly negative effect on appearance. DFW Oral Surgeons provide treatment to repair these tissues, restore their function, and minimize scarring to restore appearance.
Like any other type of broken bone, fractured facial bones must be set and immobilized to promote healing. Unlike other fractures, though, facial bones cannot be set with a cast. Instead, the facial trauma doctors at DFW Oral Surgeons use other means of setting and immobilizing facial bones. We may set jaw fractures by wiring the jaw shut, for example, which prevents movement and allows bones to heal. While wiring the jaw shut is effective, it can prevent you from eating normally. In these cases, our surgeons may stabilize facial fractures by screwing on plates that hold the broken bones together.
Facial trauma can cause chipped, fractured, or shattered teeth. The force of the trauma may partially dislodge teeth or push them deeper into the sockets. In some cases, traumatic force may knock teeth completely out of the jaw. The oral surgeons at DFW can treat badly damaged teeth with dental crowns, which are tooth-like caps that fit over teeth, or extract and replace severely damaged teeth. We can reset and support teeth that have been dislodged or pushed deeper into the socket. Our team of oral surgery specialists can even replant a knocked-out tooth, provided the patient saves the tooth and seeks immediate care.
OMS doctors can provide the best outcomes for facial traumas. Whether mild or severe, facial trauma requires immediate treatment from an experienced oral surgeon. If you have experienced facial trauma, make an appointment for a consultation with DFW Oral Surgeons by calling (972) 210-0594.