Many Americans suffer traumatic injuries to the head and face, many of which leave lasting scars, nerve damage, sensory impairment, or permanent disfigurement. The team at OMSNashville are specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgical treatments for facial trauma. We want our patients to recover from their trauma as completely as possible. A facial wound is not only physically painful, but also emotionally traumatic. A serious case of facial trauma can cause a victim to feel as though part of his or her identity has been lost, and facial reconstructive treatments can offer relief.
Types of Facial Trauma
Some cuts and scrapes may leave small scars that fade in time, but other injuries to the head and face are more serious with longer-lasting or permanent effects. Some of the facial injuries that require reconstructive restorative surgery include:
- Lacerations, or deep cuts. Animal attacks, car accidents, interpersonal violence, and workplace injuries are some of the most common causes of facial lacerations. Deep cuts could necessitate many large sutures that result in extensive scarring. In some cases, lacerations can damage the facial muscles and may impair speech and expression.
- Fractured facial bones. Any time a patient’s cheekbones, nose, eye socket, or skull suffers a fracturing injury, the resulting fractures can easily affect other regions of the face and head. Additionally, injuries to the mouth, face, and eyes can impact the senses, causing full or partial blindness, olfactory complications, or other impairments.
- Lost or damaged teeth. A slip and fall, violent encounter, workplace accident, or other incident that involves a strike or impact to the mouth may cause victims’ teeth to chip, break, or dislodge from the jaw entirely. Losing teeth, especially front teeth, is very emotionally difficult for many patients, and reconstructive dental procedures with implants are the only real solution.
- Fractured or dislocated jaw bones. A blow to the lower area of the mouth could cause the jaw to break, damaging teeth, and potentially dislodging from the upper portion of the skull.
This is not an exhaustive list, and any type of facial trauma can have disastrous consequences for victims.
Facial Trauma Treatment
Any facial wound has the potential to damage not only the soft tissues of the face but the underlying bone as well. Our experienced team understands the delicate nature of maxillofacial surgery. The techniques used aim to minimize scarring, repair facial nerves and restore salivary glands and ducts.
Unlike other areas of the body, you cannot put a cast on a broken facial bone. There are several techniques surgeons use to correct bone fractures to the face. In some cases, a patient’s jaw must be wired shut to ensure proper healing. Other facial bone fractures require steel plates and screws to hold the bone together. Accomplished maxillofacial surgeons can perform these procedures while minimizing scarring.