Hellertown PA - Allentown PA
Facial trauma is a broad term. It refers to any type of injury that affects your face and mouth, including the soft tissues, the bones, and your teeth. Whether your injury is mild or severe, treatment is needed immediately. The face is both delicate as well as complex. Immediate treatment by trained professionals is essential for restoring function, your oral health, and your overall appearance. If you have suffered facial trauma, Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help.
What Types of Facial Trauma Are There?
There are a variety of different types of facial trauma that can occur. Facial trauma ranges from mild to severe. Even mild trauma that might not seem like a big deal at the time of your injury should be addressed right away, as it can sometimes lead to more significant issues later on. Common types of facial trauma include:
|Lacerations to your soft tissues, both on your face and in your mouth. Lacerations can impact nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts.
|Burns to facial or intraoral tissues.
|Damage to your sinus cavities.
|Damage to your facial bones, such as fractured orbital sockets, cheekbones, or your nose
|Damage to your teeth.
How Does Facial Trauma Happen?
There are some different situations that can lead to facial trauma. Common causes include:
|Automobile accidents. These accidents are the most common cause of facial trauma.
|Slipping and falling, such as slipping down stairs or slipping on ice.
|Sports injuries, such as a fall on the field, colliding with another player or being hit with a ball.
|Getting into a physical fight.
Diagnosing Facial Trauma and Planning Your Treatment
When you have suffered facial trauma, it is important to seek treatment immediately. We first conduct a thorough oral exam to assess the extent of your injuries. The tests we may perform include angiographs, CT scans, and X-rays. Once we have determined the severity of your injuries, we can then create a custom treatment plan that addresses your injuries and provides you with the best possible results.
Injuries to Your Soft Tissues
Your face and mouth contain a significant amount of soft tissues. Your soft tissues contain blood vessels and nerves. Certain areas also contain salivary glands and ducts. When your soft tissues are injured, these structures could also be damaged. Treating soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations, burns, and contusions aims to correct the appearance of your face while also restoring the functions of your blood vessels, nerves, salivary glands, and ducts. Our goal is to restore function and aesthetics.
Injuries to Facial Bones
When your facial bones are fractured, they need to be set. However, unlike setting other bones in your bodies, such as your arm or leg, we cannot use a cast. Instead, the facial bones are treated in one of two ways, with wiring or with plates and screws. Wiring is a common treatment for stabilizing a fractured jaw. While effective, it does prevent you from being able to use your mouth. This can significantly limit your diet while you heal. Plates and screws are a newer solution for stabilizing fractures in your facial bones, including your jaw. With this type of treatment, you can maintain functionality of your jaw as the fractures heal. Plates and screws are often left in permanently.
Injuries to Your Teeth
Injuries to your teeth are common with facial trauma. Teeth can be chipped, fractured, shattered, partially dislodged, or even completely knocked out. The type of treatment you receive depends on the type of injuries your teeth sustain. For instance, chipped or fractured teeth can often be treated with dental crowns. However, if the tooth is fractured below the gum line or shattered, it may need to be extracted. Partially dislodged teeth can be reset and secured with a splint. Teeth that have been knocked out can often be replanted. If you lose a tooth, find it and clean it under running water, careful to only handle it by the crown. Store the tooth in a glass of milk or salt water until your appointment. If we cannot replant the tooth, or if you need teeth extracted, we will discuss your options for tooth replacement.
If you have suffered facial trauma, no matter how minor it may seem at the time, it is important that you get treatment right away. Call Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (610) 435-6161 to schedule your consultation today.