Accidents that cause facial trauma can be anything from a broken tooth that requires replacement, to a shattered jaw and orbital bone that require a facial trauma surgeon to perform multiple procedures over several months to properly correct. Most hospital ERs have a maxillofacial surgeon on-call for those serious emergencies that require immediate and complete attention.
Surgeons who specialize in facial trauma have a specific skill and knowledge base that allows them to understand how to piece back together the intricate structures that comprise the face, mouth and jaw. Maxillofacial surgeons have extra education and experience; training often requires a longer residency than other dental specialists and oral surgeons.
Facial Trauma Surgeons Can Reconstruct Bone and Soft Tissue Injuries
When you’re in an accident that causes trauma to your face; it’s not just bones that might suffer, but soft tissue as well. Facial trauma surgeons have to be familiar with reconstructing both. Soft tissue injuries heal differently than bone injuries; and surgeons who specialize in facial trauma understand how to reconstruct both in tandem.
Soft tissue maxillofacial injuries that might require a facial trauma surgeon include deep lacerations that might affect how facial nerves, ligaments and muscles work. Maxillofacial reconstruction of soft tissue injuries aims to:
(1) make it look as if it never happened by minimizing long-term scarring and facial deformation
(2) restore a patient’s ability to move their face and mouth naturally
Maxillofacial Surgeons Create Specialized Treatment Plans for Delicate Injuries
Injuries to facial bones that maxillofacial surgeons reconstruct include shattered jaws, cheekbones or orbital bones. Facial trauma surgeons piece broken bones back together much in the same way other surgeons treat bone trauma in the rest of the body. However, facial trauma surgery for bone injuries require specialized skill, like:
- accessing damaged areas with minimal invasiveness so as not to affect the appearance of the face.
- understanding how and when a jaw need wired shut for optimal healing.
- applying the use of plates and screws to help keep broken facial bones in place as they heal.
- understanding the healing processes of parts of the face and treating different areas in tandem so they heal together.
- knowing how to replace teeth in a way that best restores the appearance and function of a smile.
Much of the expertise maxillofacial trauma surgeons require is based in patient skill and gentle care. The best surgeons in facial trauma also base their treatment theory in interdisciplinary care; meaning if a case requires other professionals like a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist, they know how to work as a team to best treat the patient.
Full Mouth Reconstructions are best Accomplished by Facial Trauma Surgeons
Because oral surgeons who deal with facial trauma perform reconstructive procedures, these are the best dentists for patients who need full mouth reconstruction. Full mouth reconstruction might include dental bone grafting, soft tissue grafting, tooth replacement with dental implants, and more.
Oral surgeons who perform full mouth reconstructions, whether caused by trauma, illness or decay, are best suited to take an unhealthy or injured mouth and heal it from the inside out, restoring long-term health of the patient’s mouth and jaw.
The right maxillofacial surgeon will be able to correct facial trauma caused by disease or injury in a way that reconstructs original structures, whether it be through grafts, plates or dental implants. Even patients with extensive damage may be able to receive dental implant surgery, for instance, if the facial surgeon can find a way to restore the jaw bone.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Services for Cincinnati Patients
Dr. Puckett is a full mouth reconstruction dentist specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He is on-call at Clinton Memorial Hospital for his expertise at diagnosing, creating treatment plans, and surgically repairing facial trauma, whether it’s a broken tooth or a full mouth reconstruction. His skills also include pediatric maxillofacial medicine, because children with facial trauma have different needs than adults.
With a confident and gentle hand, Dr. Puckett provides his Cincinnati patients with the utmost care and detailed attention. Facial trauma is best treated as soon as possible after the incident, so consider a consult with our maxillofacial trauma surgeon – you’re in good hands.