Taking care of your mouth is important. You do everything you can to protect your teeth. However, despite your best efforts, accidents can still happen. Facial trauma is a serious oral health issue that needs to be addressed right away. Facial trauma includes injuries to your face as well as the interior of your mouth and includes things such as cuts, burns, and fractures. Even if you think your issues are no big deal, they should be looked at. At National Dental Melville, we can help.
What Causes Facial Trauma?
Facial trauma has several different causes:
- Automobile accidents. These are the leading cause of facial trauma.
- Sports-related injuries, which can occur as a result of a collision while playing.
- Getting into a physical fight.
Different Types of Facial Trauma
There are a few different types of facial trauma:
- Soft tissue injuries. This includes injuries to the tissues of your face, as well as the tissues in your mouth.
- Injuries to the bones of your face. This includes fractures to your jaws, cheekbones, eye sockets, nose, and your forehead.
- Injuries to your teeth. Such injuries include teeth that are driven deeper into their sockets, partially dislodged teeth and teeth that have been completely knocked out.
Trauma to Your Soft Tissues
Soft tissue facial injuries can be more serious than altering the appearance of your face. The tissues contain nerves. Some areas of the soft tissues contain salivary nerves and ducts. When any of these become severed, time (and expertise) is of the essence. At National Dental, we can restore the aesthetics of your face, while repairing the functions of your nerves, salivary glands, and ducts, minimizing the damages that are done when you are injured.
Facial Bone Trauma
When a bone is fractured, it needs to be set to facilitate healing. However, facial bones cannot be put into a cast like an arm or a foot. There are two ways in which facial bones can be set. One way is through wiring, which is a common solution for a fractured jaw. We wire your jaw shut, stabilizing your jaw and preventing any motion. While effective, wiring limits your ability to eat.
The other option for setting facial bones is with plates and screws. These help to stabilize your bones, and you can still use your jaw to eat normally. However, in most cases, the plates and screws are left in place even after you have healed.
Injuries to your teeth are common with facial trauma. In some cases, your teeth may be knocked deeper into their sockets, or they may be partially dislodged. In either case, we can resituate the affected teeth, setting them back to their proper locations. Splints are often used to stabilize the teeth while the jaw and the periodontal ligaments heal.
Teeth lost as a result of facial trauma can also sometimes be fixed. If your tooth is knocked out, locate it. If it is still in one piece, we may be able to replant it. Pick the tooth up by the crown (avoid touching the root) and rinse it with cool water. Store the tooth in a glass of milk until your appointment. If the tooth cannot be saved, we will then discuss replacement options.
If you have experienced facial trauma, even if it seems like it’s no big deal, National Dental Melville can help. Call us today at (631) 816-2277 to schedule your consultation.