Our doctors are specifically qualified, through extensive and comprehensive training, to deal with everything involved in the surgical reconstruction of the head and neck. So although most people think about coming to see our doctors for extraction of their wisdom teeth. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, our doctors are uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma.
Facial traumas can be sustained to anyone and at anytime due to a number of causes; vehicle accident, sporting injury, fall, assault, work related or even dog bite. Facial trauma can be limited to the teeth, bone, soft tissue or a combination of all; it is important that these injuries are treated by a specialist who understands the science and art involved in the rehabilitation of the wound.
Facial Cuts and Lacerations
Soft tissue injuries to the face can be very emotional and require the best aesthetic result possible. With our oral surgeons’ experience and continued training, they are aware of the function of, and how to repair the muscles and soft tissue of the face to the best possible cosmetic result. These wounds usually require sutures and very specific post operative care that reduces the look of the scar.
Fractures of the Facial Bones
Trauma to the face can end in a broken bone, from a blow to the lower jaw resulting in a break in the Mandible to blunt trauma to the eye area leading to a fracture of the eye socket or a hit to the side of the face causing a break in the cheek bone. Fractures of the bones in the facial region require very particular care, unlike other areas of the body it is not possible to put a cast on a facial fracture. Our doctors are able to assess the area using his extensive knowledge and state of the art equipment available in the office, including a CT scanner and with that information he is able to make his recommendations for the treatment of the fracture.
To stabilize the fracture it may require an operation and a titanium plate placed across the fracture line to secure the area. This would be accomplished at CMC Union where our doctors have privileges. On occasions no intervention is required, just home care which would include a very soft diet, cold compresses and possibly a course of antibiotics. If you have double vision or numbness to the face it is important to be examined by one of our oral surgeons.
Injuries involving Teeth
We would always recommend that patients wear a mouth guard when participating in sports activities that may result in physical contact. Unfortunately it is not always possible to foresee when an injury will occur and often it is not when we are playing organized sports.
When teeth are knocked out or displaced in the mouth it is very important to seek immediate assistance from one of our oral surgeons. It is possible to replace or reposition the tooth with excellent prognosis; however there is a limited time frame in which this is achievable.
If the tooth is knocked completely out hold the tooth by the part usually visible in the mouth only, if you feel comfortable replace the tooth in the socket that it came out of bite gently on a piece of cotton or gauze and call the office immediately. If you are not able to place the tooth back, it MUST be kept moist and safe; this can either be in the mouth between the cheek and gum or in a glass of cold milk, again call our office immediately to be seen by one of our oral surgeons.
If the tooth is still in the mouth, just in the wrong position, gently try to move the tooth back in to the correct position and bite gently on a piece of cotton or gauze, then call the office for immediate treatment. If you are not able to reposition the tooth, call the office, to be seen immediately by one of our oral surgeons so he can reposition the tooth.
When the tooth has been placed back into the correct position a splint will be placed on the tooth and those adjacent to it. This will hold the tooth in place allowing the fibers that hold the tooth in place to reattach. The splint will need to be in place for 2-6 weeks, depending on the area and the extent of the injury.
If you have recently experienced facial trauma, Dr. Patty and Dr. Pirelli are specially qualified to help you effectively treat those injuries. To schedule a consultation, call our office at (704) 291-7333.