Facial trauma (maxillofacial trauma) is a broad term that covers several different types of trauma to the face. The trauma could be burns, lacerations, or fractures in or around the mouth, including to the nose or eye sockets. Facial trauma requires emergency care. At National Dental Upper East Side, we can provide you with the treatment you need, no appointment necessary.
WHAT CAUSES FACIAL TRAUMA?
Facial trauma can be caused by any one of some different situations:
- You get into a car accident.
- You fall.
- You get injured playing sports.
- You are assaulted, or you get into a physical altercation.
TYPES OF FACIAL TRAUMA
Facial trauma is a broad category, and encompasses any injury sustained by the face:
- Soft tissue injuries. This includes injuries and lacerations to the soft tissues both outside and inside the mouth.
- Bone injuries. This can be fractures, or other injuries, to the jaw, nose, cheekbones, eye sockets and forehead.
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth.
SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
A soft tissue injury is one that occurs to any soft tissue of the face, whether it’s inside or outside of the mouth, such as a laceration to your tongue or your outer cheek. When you are faced with a soft tissue injury, immediate treatment is a must, and not just for cosmetic purposes. Soft tissue injuries can often lead to nerve damage or even damage to salivary glands and ducts. An expert hand is required to restore the function of these essential components of your face.
A fractured facial bone needs to be set, just like any other fractured bone in your body would be. However, your face cannot be placed in a cast. Instead, it is set in one of two ways.
The first way facial fractures are set is through the use of wire. This is often used for jaw fractures. Your jaw is wired shut to prohibit movement, which promotes healing. After a specified amount of time, the wire is removed, and your jaw checked for stability. If everything looks good, you then move on to rehabilitation. If the jaw is not adequately set, the wire is replaced for another designated period.
The other way fractured facial bones are set is through the use of plates and screws. This option allows you to have use of your jaw while you heal. In many instances, the plates and screws are never removed.
Facial trauma can sometimes result in injuries to your teeth, including avulsion. Even if your tooth is knocked out completely, it can still be saved, if you take action immediately. Find the tooth and pick it up by the crown. Do not touch the root. Rinse the tooth under water. Store the tooth in a sealed jar of milk, or salt water, until you can get to the office. This will help to preserve the tooth. Once at the office, the supporting periodontal ligaments can be treated and the tooth replanted. If the tooth cannot be replanted, we will discuss options for replacement.
Delaying care for facial trauma can result in serious oral health consequences. If you have suffered any facial trauma, contact National Dental Upper East Side right away at (646) 736-2206.