Repairing Damage Caused by Facial Injury
When an individual suffers a sudden trauma to the mouth or the face, the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial specialist is required in order to assess, diagnose and treat the injury. The extensive medical and dental education obtained by these specialized surgeons qualifies them to evaluate and repair damage to the mouth, jaws and face in a number of scenarios, including traumatic injury.
Injuries to the Face and Jaws
A wide variety of common facial injuries are sustained every day. These frequently occur at work, school, sporting events, recreational activities and a number of other situations. Some of the most common facial injuries treated by oral and maxillofacial surgeons are as follows:
- Broken nose due to sudden impact, such as in a motor vehicle crash
- Fracture of the jaw
- Fractures of the cheekbones
- Damage to the bones surrounding the nose and eye sockets
- Dislocation of the jaw
Because the face is a relatively fragile part of the body, the bone and tissue structures that comprise it must be handled delicately and skillfully. Injuries to these areas of the face, if left untreated by a specialist, may lead to lasting pain and permanent deformity to the area affected. Trauma to the nose, jaws or teeth can drastically alter the ability to speak, eat and breathe normally, which can, in turn, affect long-term health.
Treatment by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
An oral and maxillofacial specialist’s education must include advanced trauma training. This experience provides him/her with the knowledge and qualifications necessary in order to treat all types of injuries to the face, including those that involve the gums, facial bones, teeth and the tissues that form the face in general.
In the event of a traumatic injury to the mouth, the surgeon must evaluate the damage to all areas, tissues and bones within the mouth. If a tooth or a number of teeth have been forcefully removed, as is often the case in sporting accidents and physical altercations, the surgeon will assess the patient using a variety of methods in order to diagnose the injury completely.
If this traumatic extraction of teeth results in a substantial dental bony defect, the patient will be treated accordingly, often with the use of distraction osteogenesis and bone and/or soft tissue grafting. This type of defect, if not addressed, may cause future deformities that permanently interfere with speech and the chewing of food.
The Importance of Immediate Repair of Facial Injuries
In recent years, research has shown a marked difference between the overall recovery of patients who received immediate professional care and those who chose to wait for weeks, months and even years following their injury. Regardless of the severity of any facial injury, medical and dental specialists strongly recommend that injured individuals seek professional attention immediately in order to avoid a variety of permanent defects, impediments and discomfort. An experienced and certified oral and maxillofacial professional is qualified to determine the scope and acuteness of such an injury and to prescribe a plan of treatment to follow as soon as is possible.
Face and Jaw Surgery Center serves all of North Dakota and North West Minnesota including Moorhead, MN and East Grand Forks, MN.