What is Facial Trauma?
Facial trauma can occur for a variety of reasons and can prevent your mouth and jaw from functioning properly. Whether you’ve been involved in an accident or suffered some other type of trauma, our goal is to help provide the treatment necessary to correct these problems using state-of-the-art surgical techniques. We begin with a consultation to help in determining which treatment options are right for you.
How Do You Treat Facial Trauma?
Our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) group takes care of facial trauma patients at Mission Hospital and has been doing so for 40 years. Care for these patients is also provided by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) service and other community Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons. When a patient has complex facial injuries including several anatomic regions of the face, surgical repair is often performed jointly with both OMS and PRS surgeons in attendance. OMS surgeons have particular expertise in the repair of lower jaw, (mandible) midface (maxilla) and dental injuries. Areas of crossover training with PRS include the management of cheekbone (zygoma), nose (nasal) and eye socket (orbital) fractures. If eye or ear injuries are present, typically the patient will also be managed by an Ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) or Otolaryngologist (ENT). All surgeons who train in facial trauma management learn how to perform soft tissue wound repair utilizing fine-suture plastic surgery techniques.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Facial Trauma?
When facial bone fractures are present as the result of trauma, bone healing principles are similar to those of orthopedic surgery. Generally, 6 weeks of immobilization is required for bone healing to be sufficient enough to begin to return to function. Immobilization of facial bone fractures can include internal fixation devices and fastening the jaws together allow complete healing. If the jaws are immobilized, chewing cannot occur and the diet is limited to blenderized foods. This unpleasant consequence of midface or lower jaw fracture is maintained the minimum amount of time necessary for healing. Temporary weight loss is not uncommon during a period of jaw immobilization. If teeth are damaged or lost as part of the facial injury, modern restorative dental techniques, combined with placement of dental implants can return the patient to normal appearance and function. When facial bone fractures are present as the result of trauma, bone healing principles are similar to those of orthopedic surgery.