You can incur facial trauma from falls, car accidents, injuries from sports, and interpersonal injuries. Facial injuries range from broken or knocked-out teeth to severe facial bone injuries.
Usually, facial injuries can fall under three main categories—soft, bone, and oral. The location, severity, and structures dictate the treatment protocol the doctor or surgeon will use. However, not all facial traumas require surgery.
What Are the Forms of Facial Trauma?
As mentioned earlier, facial trauma can occur due to different situations and in various forms. Here are the most common forms of facial trauma:
· Soft Tissue Injuries
Facial trauma, called soft tissue injuries, includes cuts, lacerations, or any other damage that involves the mouth and face. Doctors can repair soft tissue injuries using suturing and stitching. Moreover, the dental specialist will examine your facial structure to ensure it works correctly. Some of the most common structures are salivary glands, ducts, and facial nerves.
Some of the most common forms of facial trauma are fractures of the facial bones. Common facial ones that incur damage are the eye sockets, nose, and cheekbones. Broken bones in the arm or leg can be stabilized using a cast, but facial bones require different strategies.
Some standard techniques include using metallic plates, screws, and wiring bones together. However, plates and screws are preferred over wiring techniques.
Another major form of facial trauma is oral trauma, specifically injuries to the teeth and the jaw. You can have teeth knocked out or the supporting jawbone broken or fractured. If you have a knocked-out tooth, first soak it in salt water or milk and then contact a dentist immediately. You need to reattach the tooth as soon as possible to improve the chance of survival.
When Is Oral Surgery Necessary?
Jaw fractures are some of the most common facial traumas you can get if you sustain an impact on your face. You can have maxilla (upper jaw) or mandible (lower jaw) fractures. Often, jaw fractures occur together with loosened or knocked-out teeth.
If you have a jaw fracture, it is necessary to have oral surgery to help correct, align, and stabilize the jaw. You will usually need an oral surgeon because they can replace missing teeth and fix injured teeth.
Like jaw fractures, cheekbone fractures are quite common after an accident or a fight. Clinically, they are called zygomatic bone injuries and are often initially overlooked. The reason for this is they are not associated with function. But as time passes, the effects of the injuries become apparent. You will need to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to treat these.
The nose is naturally prominent, predisposing it to injury if you are involved in an accident. It is easy to break your nose, especially if you experience blunt-force trauma. You will not always need surgery for a broken nose unless it obstructs breathing.
These are injuries to the eye socket, often caused by punches to the face. They usually affect the lower part of the socket, which is thinner than the rest. You will need surgery only if your eyeball is out of place or you have double vision.
For more on whether your facial trauma requires oral surgery, visit Oral Surgical Associates at our office in Missoula or Hamilton, Montana. Call (406) 282-8768 to book an appointment today.