Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat Facial Trauma. The surgeons of Aiken Augusta Oral and Facial Surgery trained in an advanced level trauma care facility (formerly known as Medical College of Georgia) and are currently on staff at Doctors Hospital to provide emergency room coverage for facial injuries including:
- Facial lacerations
- Intraoral lacerations
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, or eye socket)
- Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
Most maxillofacial injuries are caused by accidents associated with sports, motor vehicle collisions, at work, at home, and with an altercation. The science of treating these facial injuries requires special training, experience and a clear understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long-term function and appearance.
When damage to the soft tissues or cuts to the face occur, they can be repaired by careful suturing. In addition to addressing the main concern of repairing the damage with a pleasing cosmetic result, our surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to rule out damage to other facial structures such as nerves and salivary glands and ducts. They will also do an assessment to rule out the presence of a facial bone fracture.
If the injury caused is a facial bone fracture it will be treated in a similar manner to fractures in other parts of the body. A thorough evaluation and assessment are necessary to identify the location and severity of the fracture. Once this has been determined your surgeon will determine the best treatment option for your particular case. One of these options includes stabilizing the fractured segments with plates and screws (rigid fixation) allowing the patient to return to normal and function promptly. The other option is wiring the jaws closed (closed reduction) for several weeks. Treatment depends on the type and severity of your injury and your surgeon will discuss and recommend the best treatment option for your case. Remember that every case is different.
Dentoalveolar injuries (damage to the bone that supports the teeth) it is also a common injury treated by oral surgeons and other dental specialists. These fractures are treated by stabilizing the movable segment by wiring or bonding the affected teeth to sound and stable teeth. If a tooth is ever displaced completely (avulsed) or knocked out it should never be scrapped, simply place it back on the mouth, or in milk. The sooner the tooth is placed back in the jaw bone the better chances that tooth has to survive. The patient should be seen within an hour of the injury or as soon as possible. Other dental specialists may be necessary to treat this patient such as an endodontist (root canal specialist) and/or a restorative dentist who may need to repair or rebuild fractured teeth.
In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, dental implants are often now utilized as replacements for missing teeth.