Facial trauma, also called maxillofacial trauma, is a term that refers to any type of injury to the face. This includes soft tissue as well as bone. Facial trauma can be the result of a variety of incidences. When it happens, you need a surgeon who is experienced in the treatment and repair of these delicate injuries. Dr. Haigney of Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery has received extensive training in maxillofacial trauma, reconstructive surgery and many other facial surgery procedures. If you require treatment for facial trauma, we can help.
Types of Facial Trauma
Facial trauma refers to any injury sustained on the face:
In order to diagnose facial trauma and make a treatment plan that will best suit your needs, you may undergo several tests. Angiographs, which are images of the blood vessels, can help locate the source of bleeding. X-rays are taken, but since the bones in the face can make them difficult to read, they are used as a method to rule out fractures. CT scans are the best method to determine fractures and whether or not surgery is needed.
Causes of Facial Trauma
Facial trauma can be the result of a number of different causes:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries include those both on the surface of the face and inside the mouth, such as the tongue and gums. Treating and repairing these injuries right away, and properly, is important, not just for cosmetic reasons. Dr. Haigney has the expertise and precision required to properly repair and restore function of nerves, as well as salivary glands and ducts, that may have been damaged as a result of the injury.
Just like any other bone in the body, fractured facial bones need to be set. But unlike a fractured arm or leg, you cannot put a cast on a facial bone. It still needs to be stabilized. Dr. Haigney will evaluate your specific injury and decide which treatment option is best.
One way in which bones are set, particularly injuries to the jaw, is by the use of wiring. Your mouth is wired shut in order to promote healing. After a sufficient amount of time has passed, the wire will be removed and Dr. Haigney will check your jaw for stability. If the jaw is deemed healthy, you will continue with rehabilitation, and if not, your jaw will be wired closed again.
Another way of dealing with facial fractures is through the use of metal plates and screws. The advantage of this procedure is that you have use of your jaw for eating and speaking. In many instances, the plates and screws are left permanently in place.
Injuries to the Teeth
Facial trauma can lead to cracked teeth or even lost teeth. Lost teeth can be fixed if addressed immediately. In order to successfully do this, your tooth needs to be properly cared for. It should not be handled by the root. The root should be rinsed and then placed in a container of milk until you can come into the office. Dr. Haigney will treat the supporting bone and replant the lost tooth.
If you have suffered facial trauma, you deserve the utmost care. Call us today at (704) 987-3132 to schedule an appointment.