Facial Trauma

Injuries due to facial trauma can have lingering effects if they’re not addressed promptly and effectively. Due to the nature of such injuries, a treatment plan for patients who have experienced facial trauma often includes oral surgery.

Drs. Ibanez and Hill have the extensive experience and training needed to produce excellent results in such cases. Not only do they provide ongoing follow-up care for patients who have experienced facial trauma, but they are also on staff in local hospitals and emergency departments, so they initially stabilize such injuries as well.

Types Of Facial Trauma Injuries

Injuries resulting from facial trauma can affect any of the face’s or jaw’s various structures and may include:

  • Broken jaws
  • Broken facial bones
  • Soft tissue (e.g. gums, cheeks, tongue) lacerations
  • Skin lacerations on the face
  • Knocked-out teeth

Evaluating a patient who has experienced facial trauma will involve assessing the nature and severity of the injury in order to develop the most appropriate and effective treatment plan. Patients may need to undergo digital x-rays or three-dimensional CBCT imaging, along with other assessments.

Facial trauma X-ray

Interventions To Address Facial Trauma

The information gathered by Drs. Ibanez and Hill at the evaluation, along with any prior medical records and imaging related to the injury, will be incorporated into the treatment plan.

  • Fixation of fractures
  • Surgical repair of soft tissue injuries
  • Dental implant placement

The treatment plan will offer a comprehensive approach to addressing all of the issues resulting from your facial trauma. Depending on the nature of your injuries, multiple procedures may be needed, although we will do our best to consolidate them whenever possible for your convenience.

All surgical procedures used to treat facial injuries are performed with the patient under appropriate local anesthetic and general sedation for maximum patient comfort. Patients are given thorough written instructions for post-operative self-care and are encouraged to call our office if they have any questions or notice signs of complications.

Importance Of Follow-Up Care Following Facial Trauma

Some facial traumas can be severe enough to warrant initial treatment and stabilization at the local emergency department. In fact, Dr. Ibanez and Dr. Hill are affiliated with different hospitals in order to provide such care. However, in these instances, it is still essential to follow up with an oral surgeon.

The initial procedures performed in the immediate aftermath of facial trauma may only be temporary measures, intended to manage the situation until a more permanent treatment is available to the patient. Delays in follow-up care can lead to negative structural, functional, or aesthetic outcomes.

Preventing Facial Trauma

While treatments for facial trauma are available and effective, it’s ideal for patients to prevent facial trauma whenever possible. Actions like these can help you minimize your risk of facial trauma:

  • Buckling your seat belt every time you get in the car
  • Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Keeping your home free of tripping hazards
  • Using protective gear, such as custom-designed mouthguards, when playing contact sports

Ideally, you will never need to take advantage of our facial trauma services, and these preventive measures can help you achieve that goal.

Common Facial Trauma Questions

Who is qualified to handle facial trauma?

Expertise in various facial structures, emergency interventions, and long-term reconstruction are all necessary to treat facial trauma. The specialist must also be well-versed in the interventions used to treat all aspects of facial trauma, including broken bones, damaged teeth, and soft oral tissue, and/or facial lacerations. Therefore, an oral surgeon is well-suited to address both the immediate aftermath of facial trauma along with any subsequent procedures that may be needed to fully restore the affected structures.

What is the best way to tell if someone has facial trauma?

Often, facial trauma can be detected upon a simple visual examination. However, such an examination is insufficient to plan for any needed interventions to repair the damage caused by facial trauma. Some sort of internal imaging will be needed to better assess the injury and prepare for an intervention to treat it. Through our advanced cone beam CT technology, our office can produce three-dimensional images of the surgical site, which helps us to more precisely prepare for the procedure and results in a more predictable surgery.

How do you treat broken facial bones?

Broken facial bones are often addressed using measures that a doctor would apply in treating broken bones in other areas of your body. However, it is impossible to stabilize a facial fracture using a cast. In some cases, it may be necessary to wire the upper and lower jaws together to facilitate the desired healing. However, there is also a method called rigid fixation in which an oral surgeon can use screws and plates to hold the broken facial bones in the desired locations rather than wiring the jaws shut. The nature of the fracture will dictate the most effective approach.

What should I do if I experience facial trauma?

If the issue requires immediate attention, you should go directly to your nearest emergency room for preliminary treatment. You can follow up with us afterward for any further interventions that may be needed after the initial injury is stabilized. If the issue is less acute, you can call our office and we will make every effort to accommodate a same-day appointment or to direct you to another type of provider initially if that appears to be necessary.