Whenever you suffer a facial injury, there’s a chance you could require oral surgery.
If you’re involved in a car accident, get hit in the face or suffer a bad fall or some other sort of facial trauma, prompt attention from an oral surgeon is a must. Treatment will depend on the nature of your injuries, but without a professional evaluation, it’s impossible to guess whether you’ll need surgery.
What Types of Facial Injuries Require Oral Surgery?
Oral surgery is often required for injuries that involve facial fractures. Broken bones in the lower or upper jaw, nose, cheekbones or eye sockets — or a combination of fractures in those areas — usually need surgical treatment to restore the ability to breathe, eat, speak or see.
Facial trauma can also frequently result in tooth loss. Missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic issue. Tooth replacement restores a beautiful smile, but it can also help prevent jawbone degeneration, tooth misalignment and other serious oral health issues. For a facial injury with tooth loss, oral surgery is often recommended.
What if Your Facial Injury Seems Minor?
Sometimes scrapes, bruises and cuts can be safely treated at home, without seeing an oral surgeon.
However, even if an injury seems minor, the damage may not be limited to the superficial soft tissues of the face. An accident or trauma can cause unseen issues with the teeth, jaw, glands and nerves.
If that’s the case, oral surgery may be necessary to prevent long-term problems and complications. Rather than taking a chance on future oral health issues, it’s always a good idea to have any facial injury professionally checked.
How Does Oral Surgery Help a Facial Injury?
With fractures in other parts of the body, treatment usually involves a cast. But the facial bones can’t be stabilized with a cast. So how does an oral surgeon treat fractures in the face?
A range of techniques can be used, depending upon the extent of the facial injuries. Treatment may involve wiring of the jaw or securing the bones with small plates and screws. Bone grafting may also be required. The surgical plan is based on the location and severity of the fracture.
For facial trauma that results in tooth loss, dental implant surgery is usually the preferred treatment. Dental implants fit, feel and function just like natural teeth, and their placement in the jaw works to stop bone degeneration. Other tooth replacement options — including bridges and partial removable dentures — can restore the smile, but don’t offer the same oral health benefits.
Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have the training, certification and experience to successfully diagnose and treat all types of facial trauma. Contact one of our three convenient Salt Lake City area offices for an oral surgery consultation anytime you’re in northern Utah and suffer a facial injury.