Also known as maxillofacial trauma, facial trauma is a severe physical injury that impacts the facial bones, skin, and tissue. Facial trauma isn’t always life-threatening, unless an individual experiences severe bleeding or an impeded airway. Facial injuries to the mouth, teeth, and jaw often impact breathing, vision, oral function, facial movement, and physical appearance. Lack of appropriate treatment can also lead to severe facial impairment or permanent disfigurement.
How does Facial Trauma Occur
Facial trauma occurs as a result of unforeseen incidents or circumstances. Sporting accidents, trip and fall incidents, work-related accidents, physical violence, or car accidents can result in facial trauma.
Symptoms of Facial Trauma
Pain, swelling, numbness, bruising, sunken cheekbones, crooked nasal cavity, or misaligned teeth are all indicators of facial injuries or fractures.
The most common fractures that a dentist can help with include a zygomatic maxillary fracture (broken cheekbone and upper jaw) or a broken jaw.
Symptoms of a Zygomatic Maxillary Fracture
|Weird sensation underneath the eye
|Difficulty in moving the jaw
Symptoms of a Broken Jaw
|Bruising or swelling
|Difficulty in bringing your teeth together properly
|Missing or loose teeth
|Numbness in the chin or lower lip
Types of Facial Trauma
Facial injuries can be categorized into three main groups.
Dentoalveolar injuries typically involve the teeth or the bone surrounding the teeth. These injuries often include broken or dislodged teeth as a result of being knocked out of the jaw socket. To prevent long-term damage, these injuries require emergency dentistry services that include the preservation, replacement, or repositioning of teeth or the bones. Dentoalveolar injury treatment consists of titanium screws, plates, and wire arch bars for the stabilization of the teeth.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Inter-oral (within the mouth) and superficial (on the skin) lacerations are classified as soft tissue injuries. Emergency care is required to determine the severity of the injury and repair it to prevent permanent damage. Soft tissue injuries are often treated with surgical sutures.
Facial (Maxillary) Fractures
Trauma to the face can result in fractures throughout the face. Depending on the severity of the incident, you can fracture multiple facial bones, ranging from your upper to lower jaw to your cheekbones. Maxillary fractures can result in swelling and scarring, and are threatening to your airway.
The treatment of these fractures depends on many factors such as the severity, location, and extent of damage. The objective of the treatment is to regain normal function and appearance, restore bone alignment, and prevent infections. Maxillary fracture treatment methods often involve multiple surgical procedures for the stabilization of the jaw.
Emergency Dentistry Services at Colin M. McKinney, DMD
Here at Colin M. McKinney, DMD, we have an entire team of dental professionals, including orthodontists, prosthodontists, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. All of our professionals have advanced training and experience in providing patients with emergency dentistry services to restore the appearance and function of their mouth after severe facial trauma.
Whether you’ve been involved in a sporting incident, a car accident, or a trip and fall incident, call us at (772) 266-2223 to book your appointment.