People can go through serious emotional and physical trauma when they experience a facial injury. Treating facial trauma requires not only a significant amount of special training but also substantial hands-on experience in order to provide long-term results, both from functional and appearance standpoints. AOS in Peoria and Galesburg can treat minor facial trauma in our offices; however, some injuries may require inpatient hospital care.
Most local hospitals have various oral and maxillofacial surgeons available for patients experiencing severe facial trauma, including:
- Fractures of the nose, cheek or eye socket
- Fractures of the upper or lower jaw
- Knocked out teeth
- Facial lacerations
- Intra-oral lacerations
Causes and Types of Maxillofacial Trauma
- Accidental falls
- Automobile accidents
- Interpersonal violence
- Job duties
- Sports accidents
The types of facial trauma generally include soft tissue injuries, injuries to special regions (like the salivary glands, eyes or facial nerves) or bone injuries. The nature of these injuries ranges from minor teeth trauma to serious injuries involving the bones or skin in the facial region.
Soft Tissue Facial Trauma
Facial lacerations are the most common type of soft tissue injuries. Our doctors work to create optimal results from an aesthetic perspective and to restore normal function. This involves carefully inspecting and treating injuries to the facial nerves, salivary ducts, and salivary glands. Soft tissue injuries are generally repaired with sutures to produce satisfactory results for patients in Peoria and Galesburg.
Trauma to Facial Bones
When our doctors work with facial bone fractures, there isn’t one specific way to treat them. The type of treatment varies depending on the severity of the injury, the location of the injury and the overall health and age of the patient. Facial trauma is different from injuries to other parts of the body for obvious reasons, so our doctors must use specialized techniques to restore a patient’s facial appearance and function.
For injuries to the jawbones, our doctors may use techniques such as wiring the jaws together or inserting plates and screws to the impacted area. The technique of inserting the plates and screws is called rigid fixation and is generally preferred by our patients and doctors in Peoria and Galesburg. One of the main reasons is because it does not require the wiring of the jaws and allows for quicker healing, so the patient returns to normal function soon after the injury.
While facial trauma is unpredictable, the procedures and treatment options should be somewhat predictable. Our doctors use every means necessary to minimize the cosmetic effects of facial trauma. This means they make as few incisions as possible, and in the event where incisions are necessary, they are made small enough where any resulting scar is not easily noticeable.
Teeth and Dental Structure Trauma
Injuries to the teeth and other dental structures may involve the skillset of dental specialists. The main thing patients always need to remember is to see a dental professional or our doctors in Peoria and Galesburg as soon as possible if a tooth gets damaged or knocked out. Place the tooth in salt water or milk to preserve it and avoid wiping it, even if it is dirty, so the ligaments are not damaged or removed.
Oral surgeons will treat various fractures in the jawbone and also reinsert knocked out teeth. Some types of injuries may require bonding the teeth together or even stabilizing them using wiring. Other specialists like endodontists may need to conduct root canal therapy, and restorative dentists could be called on to rebuild or repair fractured teeth. Sometimes dental implants are required for missing teeth, but the main takeaway is that every injury to teeth or dental structure is unique and will be treated as such by our doctors.
No matter what type of facial trauma our patients experience, our doctors in Peoria and Galesburg are specially trained to treat it. If you’ve suffered facial trauma of any severity, contact our office to set up a consultation to learn how we can help.