Boston Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Boston Center for Oral Health are experienced at managing and treating facial trauma cases. There are an infinite number of ways in which the face can be damaged and require some type of facial reconstruction. Accidents, falls, automobile crashes, and interpersonal violence are among the most common causes. Some of the main types of facial injuries resulting from these instances are lacerations, fractured teeth, fractured jaws, fractured facial bones, knocked out teeth and intraoral lacerations.
There are three main classifications used by health professionals in their trauma assessment:
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue trauma includes lacerations to the skin and any kind of intraoral (gum) damage
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth: Injuries to the teeth are very common and must be dealt with immediately to ensure the success of reimplantation
- Bony injuries: Bony injuries encompass the entire face including fractured cheekbones, jawbones, eye sockets, palates and noses
- Special regions: Special regions include the nerves in the face, the eyes, and the salivary glands
What are the reasons for undergoing facial reconstruction surgery?
Aside from the obvious aesthetic reasons for repairing damage to the face, there are also a number of serious health and dental concerns that can arise from even a small amount of facial trauma. No facial injury should be taken lightly. Depending on the exact location of the injury, respiration, speech and even swallowing can be greatly impaired.
Though broken facial bones are generally treated in the emergency room,
damage to the teeth can be quickly dealt with by a dentist.
Failure to treat dental and facial trauma can lead to longer-term problems including:
- Loss of functionality: When teeth have fallen victim to trauma, they may become loose in their sockets, making eating and speaking much more difficult.
- Smile aesthetics: Chipped, broken or missing teeth can be detrimental to a patient’s confidence. The dentist is able to repair chips, fractures, and missing teeth easily.
- Bite/jaw irregularities: After trauma, it is possible that the alignment of teeth will be damaged. Poor alignment can lead to TMJ, uneven teeth wear and other complications.
What does facial trauma reconstruction involve?
If facial bones have been fractured or broken, they will be treated much like other broken bones. Of course, a plaster cast cannot be applied to a cheekbone, but the bones can be held firmly together by either wiring or the insertion of small plates and screws.
Soft tissue lacerations will be treated immediately by way of sutures (stitches).
In cases where a tooth was cleanly knocked out of the mouth, there is still a possibility of reinserting it. The quicker a re-insertion can be performed by the dentist, the greater the likelihood that the natural tooth will survive. In the event that the tooth lacks the ligaments necessary for reinsertion, the dentist can implant a prosthetic tooth to restore both functionality and aesthetic appearance. The dentist can also “splint” displaced teeth using structural support such as bonding or wiring with a high likelihood of success. Root canal therapy is also a possibility for loose or broken teeth.
Your Boston dentist will conduct a thorough examination and take various X-rays in order to determine the precise condition of the afflicted area and plan a course of action. Pain medication will be prescribed as necessary, and you’ll be given post-treatment advice for your recovery.