Facial Trauma

As Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Dr. Summers and Dr. Strider are trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat Facial Trauma. Injuries to the face impart a high degree of emotional, as well as physical trauma to patients. The science and art of treating these injuries requires special training involving a “hands on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long term function and appearance.

Dr. Summers and Dr. Strider are on staff at local hospitals and deliver emergency room coverage for facial injuries, which include the following conditions:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intra oral lacerations
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose or eye socket)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)

Causes of Maxillofacial Trauma

There are a number of possible causes of facial trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, interpersonal violence and work related injuries. Facial injuries can range from injuries involving teeth to severe injuries of the skin and bones of the face.

When soft tissue injuries occur on the face, they are repaired by suturing. In addition to the obvious concern of providing a repair that yields the best cosmetic result possible, care is taken to inspect for and treat injuries to structures such as facial nerves, salivary glands and ducts.

Fractures of the bones of the face are often treated similar to fractures in other parts of the body. Unlike many broken bones of the body, cast cannot be placed on the face so Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons use other means to stabilize facial fractures.

Options vary from wiring the jaws together for certain fractures or the surgical placement of small plates and screws at the involved site.

The treatment of facial fractures is accomplished in a thorough and predictable manner. More importantly, the patient’s facial appearance should be minimally affected and any incisions deemed necessary, are designed to be small and are usually placed so that the resultant scar is hidden from view.

Injuries to Teeth and Surrounding Bone

Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common in traumatic injuries and may require the expertise of various dental specialists. Dr. Summers and Dr. Strider treat fractures in the supporting bone or replant teeth that have been displaced or knocked out. Often time these injuries are simply treated by splinting (stabilizing by wiring or bonding teeth together) the teeth. If a tooth is knocked out, it should be placed in salt water or milk. The sooner the tooth is re-inserted properly into the dental socket, the better the chances it will survive long term. For this reason, patients should see a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible following an injury involving the loss of a tooth. Never attempt to wipe the tooth off, since remnants of the ligament that hold the tooth in the jaw are attached and are vital to the success of replanting the tooth. Other dental specialists may be called upon such as endodontists, who may be asked to perform root canal therapy, and/or restorative dentists who may need to repair or rebuild fractured teeth. In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, dental implants serve as a great solution in replacing missing teeth.

Dr. Summers and Dr. Strider are a well-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons and are proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of facial as well as dental injuries.