Facial Trauma Treatment In Sacramento
The face is extremely important with regards to appearance, self-confidence, beauty, and expression of emotions. Facial trauma can cause significant physical and emotional scarring; thus it is very important to seek out expert facial treatment. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are well trained to diagnose and treat these types of injuries and are often called upon by their medical colleagues to treat any injuries that occur to the bones and soft tissue anywhere on the head and neck.
Facial Trauma Generally Occurs In:
- Males more than females
- Childhood/adolescence/young adulthood rather than as an adult
- The elderly
What Causes Facial Trauma?
Injuries commonly occur due to sports, interpersonal violence, motor vehicle accidents or due to loss of balance or falls just to name a few causes. With the advent of airbags and seat belts, the types of injuries that used to occur due to car accidents have changed significantly. Facial injuries can be categorized into:
- Soft tissue injuries involving lips, skin, nerves, salivary glands, eyes, etc.
- Bone injuries also known as fractures which can be closed (not visible) or open (can be visible through skin or oral mucosa)
Types Of Facial Trauma & How They Are Treated:
- Avulsed teeth, also known as “knocked-out” teeth (get to a dentist immediately within 1 hour if possible)
- Put it back into socket (hole where tooth was) immediately without scrubbing the tooth by picking it up from the crown of the tooth.
- If dirt is on the root, then gently rinse off with saline if available or water and replace in socket.
- If you can’t put it back in or are afraid to, place the tooth in one of the following and go to the ER or an oral surgeon right away:
- Hank’s Balanced Saline Solution (available at the pharmacy)
- Floor of mouth or between teeth and cheeks (be careful not to swallow it)
- If the tooth is broken, please bring it with you and sometimes a root canal can be done and it can be placed back into position.
- If it cannot be placed back into position, then dental implants can be used to restore your mouth/teeth to a pre-injury state.
- Loose teeth or mobile teeth can be splinted into place.
- Bone Injuries/Fractures
- Lower jaw, also known as the mandible
- Upper jaw, also known as the maxilla
- Fractured facial bones (forehead, bones that surround the eyes, cheekbones, or nose/nasal bones)
- Treatment of bone injuries is treated in a similar manner to bone injuries that occur anywhere else on the body and is dependent on the type of injury, the location of the injury, the severity of the injury and the age and general health of the patient. Treatment of fractures is done in the following manner:
- Determine what bone(s) are broken via x-rays (radiographs) such as plain films, panorex, CT scan and rarely, MRI.
- If the bones are the jaw bones, then a combination of one or all of the following is done. The jaws can be wired which is similar to placing a cast on an arm. The jaws can also be wired shut to stabilize the fracture or small miniature plates with screws can be used to hold the broken bones together and may obviate the need for wiring the jaws shut. The plates are usually left in for life unless an infection occurs or another need arises.
- Using miniature plates, allows patients to return to work or school and achieve a normal life faster.
- Facial bone fractures are treated using miniature plates and screws either through the mouth, through the laceration overlying the fracture or, rarely, by creating a new incision that can be masked/hidden in normal skin lines so as to give the best cosmetic outcome.
- Facial lacerations (cuts) which are treated with suturing. An important consideration is suturing the tissue, nerves, ducts of salivary glands back into their original position and obtaining the best function and cosmetic/plastic results possible. The surgeons in our practice have been specially trained for this aspect of repair so as to ensure the best cosmetic results possible.
- Intraoral lacerations which are treated with suturing.