Also referred to as maxillofacial trauma, facial trauma is any injury that happens to your face, including cuts, burns, and bone fractures. This also includes injuries inside of the mouth, including dislodged teeth (partially and completely). Facial trauma, regardless of how minor it seems, requires professional help. At National Dental East Meadow, we are experienced in oral and maxillofacial injuries and can provide you with the treatment you need in the event of an emergency.
TYPES OF FACIAL TRAUMA
There are three different categories of facial trauma:
- Injuries to the soft tissues. These types of injuries include lacerations, burns, and contusions. They may occur either inside or outside of the mouth.
- Injuries to bones. This includes fractures to your jaw, cheekbones, eye sockets, nose, or even forehead.
- Injuries to your teeth. Your teeth may be knocked deeper into the sockets, partially out of the sockets, or knocked completely out.
CAUSES OF FACIAL TRAUMA
Facial trauma can occur as the result of several different reasons:
- Auto accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of facial trauma.
- Falls. You may slip and fall, or fall from a chair or ladder trying to reach something, and hit your face.
- Sports. Contact sports are a common cause of facial trauma.
- Fights. Physical confrontations can result in a hit to the face.
INJURIES TO SOFT TISSUES
Soft tissue injuries can occur either inside the mouth, outside the mouth, or anywhere else on the face. It is very important to have soft tissue injuries treated. Your appearance is one important reason to have them treated, but it is not the only one. Your face is filled with nerves, and certain areas of your soft tissues contain salivary glands and ducts. Treatment as soon as possible will ensure that the functions of these nerves, glands, and ducts are restored. To have them restored properly, an expert in oral and maxillofacial surgery is essential.
Fractures to your facial bones, just like fractures to any other bone, need to be set. However, your face cannot be put into a cast. Instead, we have other methods for setting facial bones. One method is by wiring your jaw. By wiring your jaw, we can stabilize your bones, which allows them to heal. The major disadvantage to this is that your jaw usage is severely limited.
Our other method for setting bones is with plates and screws. This method allows you to have complete use of your mouth while you heal. After healing, the plates and screws are often left in place.
DAMAGE TO YOUR TEETH
In the event of facial trauma, your teeth may also be affected. If they are lodged deeper into the sockets, or partially dislodged, we can reseat them and help them to stay in place while the ligaments and the bone heal. It is also possible to save a tooth that has been completely knocked out. If you find the tooth, run it under water (don’t touch the root end) and store it in a jar of milk until you can get to the office. We can usually replant it. In the event the tooth cannot be saved, we will discuss what replacement options are available to you.
In the event of facial trauma, even minor trauma, the hand of a dentist experienced in oral and maxillofacial trauma is needed. Contact National Dentist East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292.