Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons have been specially equipped to deal with facial trauma. The face can be damaged in so many ways and may need to be reconstructed. Falls, accidents, interpersonal violence, and auto crashes are the most common causes. Some of the most common injuries that can occur from these situations include intraoral lacerations, fractured teeth, knocked-out teeth, fractured jaws, and fractured facial bones.
Health professionals usually classify trauma into three main categories, which are:
Soft Tissue Injuries – these include any form of gum (intraoral) damage as well as lacerations to the skin.
Knocked out (Avulsed) Teeth – teeth injuries are common occurrences and must be addressed immediately for reimplantation to be successful.
Bony Injuries – this one has to do with injuries to the entire face, including fractured noses, cheekbones, palates, eye sockets, and jaw bones
Special Regions – this refers to the nerves of the eyes, face, and the salivary glands.
Reasons for Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Aside from aesthetic reasons for fixing a facial damage, several dental and health problems also surface as a result of even a small amount of trauma. All facial injuries should be taken seriously. Swallowing, speech, and respiration can be negatively affected, depending on the exact location of the injury.
Though broken facial bones are usually handled in the emergency room, your dentist can swiftly attend to teeth damage issues. If facial and dental trauma is left untreated, it can result in the following problems:
- Loss of Functionality: teeth that have experienced trauma may become weak and also make it difficult to speak or eat.
- Smile Aesthetics: missing, broken, or chipped teeth can ruin a beautiful smile. Your dentist will be able to deal with missing teeth, chips and fractures effortlessly.
- Bite/Jaw Irregularities: the teeth are likely to get poorly aligned after trauma. This poor alignment can result in uneven teeth wear, TMJ, as well as other complications.
What does correcting facial trauma involve?
When a facial fracture occurs, it is usually giving the same treatment as other types of fractures. Of course, no one will apply a caster cast to a cheekbone, but small screws and wires can be inserted to hold the bones firmly. Stitching (suture) will be used to immediately treat soft tissue lacerations.
In situations where a tooth was knocked cleanly out of the mouth, it can still be reinserted. The chances of the reinserted tooth surviving will largely depend on how quick your dentist is able to act. If reinsertion is impossible due to lack of ligaments, a prosthetic tooth can be implanted to restore the tooth’s aesthetic appearance and functionality. Structural support such as bonding or wiring can also be used to “splint” displaced teeth with a significant level of success.
Broken or loose teeth can also be treated using root canal therapy.
Your dentist will carry out a comprehensive examination, taking several x-rays to reveal the affected area. You will be given pain medications as necessary, and you will also get post-treatment advice to help you recover.