A wide variety of accidents and injuries can lead to facial trauma of varying degrees. In addition to severe injuries as the result of automobile accidents or other major trauma, facial injury can occur as a result of falls, sports accidents or even accidents involving skateboards or bicycles.
Oral Surgery and Facial Trauma
Damage to the teeth as well as the bones of the face can lead to functional deformities and dental problems. If facial injuries are not properly treated, severe misalignment can result, leading to long-term discomfort, uneven tooth wear, or even eventual tooth loss.
In many cases, facial trauma can be treated by an oral surgeon rather than in the emergency room. In fact, often an oral surgeon can provide better care since he is able to assess damage directly related to long-term dental health. A skilled dual-degreed oral surgeon will be able to ensure the patient’s comfort, and since he or she is accustomed to dealing with facial and dental injuries, the patient can be assured he is in good hands.
Treating Facial Trauma
Initial treatment for facial trauma plays a major role in how the face heals. If possible, the application of cold compresses can help reduce swelling. If bleeding is severe, use pressure to reduce or stop the flow. Adult teeth, that have been cleanly and fully knocked out, should never be handled by the root and every attempt to replace the tooth into the socket should be made. If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket for some reason then it should be kept in the mouth or in milk until they can be put back into place by an oral surgeon.
The oral surgeon will determine the best treatments to address specific injuries. Sutures might be necessary for lacerations, or the patient might require surgery to ensure broken bones are set back into place. This is particularly important for children, since their faces are not fully developed. If facial bones are carefully reconstructed after facial trauma, they can continue to grow normally. Improper healing can result in permanent disfigurement.
If you or a loved one has suffered facial trauma, a dual-degreed oral surgeon in the Chicago South Loop area has the experience in jaw surgery and can help ensure proper long-term healing.