Facial Trauma Surgery
Facial trauma is a term that covers a variety of injuries to your face and mouth. These injuries can often be serious, and include such things as burns, lacerations, fractured bones, and damaged teeth. Even if a facial injury does not seem all that serious at the time it is sustained, getting the injury examined is imperative. It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it could quickly turn into one. Leaving facial trauma untreated can result in a myriad of different issues. Some facial trauma requires surgery. At Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral & Facial Surgery, we can provide the surgery you need to treat your facial trauma and restore the functions of your mouth, your appearance, and your overall quality of life.
What Causes Facial Trauma?
Facial trauma can be caused by one of many different issues, including:
Types of Facial Trauma
Facial trauma can occur in a number of different ways, such as:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are those that occur to the tissues of the facial region as well as inside the mouth. The soft tissue is filled with blood vessels and nerves. In some areas, the soft tissues also contain salivary glands and ducts. Prompt treatment is essential not only for restoring your appearance but also for restoring the functions of these components before permanent damage is done. Soft tissue lacerations are often repaired by suturing. Along with providing the best aesthetic results possible, we also take special care to repair any damage that may have occurred to the nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts.
Injuries to the Bone
Much like a fracture to any other bone in the body, fractures in facial bones need to be set. However, they cannot be set with a cast. There are a couple of ways in which we can treat facial fractures. One method involves wiring the jaws together, which is done for fractures to certain parts of the upper or lower jaw. Wiring immobilizes the jaw, giving it the time it needs to heal. The biggest drawback to this treatment is that you cannot use your mouth properly while it is wired.
The other way in which we can treat facial fractures is with the surgical placement of small plates and screws at the affected site. Also called rigid fixation, this treatment facilitates healing without the need to immobilize the jaw. While a more recent development, many patients have found that this treatment leads to faster recovery. No matter which method we use to treat facial fractures, we make sure to use as few incisions as possible. When we do need to make incisions, we make them as small as possible or hide them, so that visible scarring is minimized.
Tooth injuries are a common occurrence with facial trauma, and often require treatment from several specialists. As oral surgeons, we are involved in treating the injuries to the structures that support your teeth, as well as repositioning or replanting displaced or knocked out teeth. These types of injuries are often treated by splinting or stabilizing the teeth by wiring or bonding.
If your facial trauma does end with a tooth getting knocked out, it can be replanted. The sooner you seek treatment, the better. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Run the tooth under water if it appears dirty and store it in a glass of milk or salt water. This helps to preserve the tooth until you can be seen. Do not touch or wipe the root of the tooth. Any ligaments that are still attached are essential for successful replanting, and touching the roots can damage them. If your tooth cannot be found, or cannot be replanted, we can discuss options for tooth replacement, including dental implants.
Following a facial injury, it is essential to seek treatment right away. Call us here at Plymouth Ann Arbor Oral and Facial Surgery at (734) 455-0710 for more information today.