Facial injuries related to sports are unfortunately common today. Professional athletes, amateur sports enthusiasts and weekend warriors are all at risk of injuries from falling, crashing into other players and getting hit in the face with a piece of sports equipment.
Oral surgery isn’t necessary for every injury; bruises, cuts and soft-tissue injuries can usually be managed conservatively. Surgical treatment is typically reserved for serious sports-related injuries, like damaged teeth and facial fractures.
Broken or Knocked-Out Teeth
Sometimes, a broken or knocked-out tooth can be saved. But when injuries involve extensive tooth root damage or cracks below the gumline, oral surgery is usually required.
When a damaged tooth cannot be repaired, surgical extraction is recommended to prevent complications. A bridge can be used to replace the missing tooth, but dental implant surgery is generally a more effective solution. An implant fits, feels and functions just like a natural tooth, and unlike a bridge, the replacement tooth prevents future bone loss.
Broken bones in the nose, cheeks and jaw can create serious complications if left untreated, but due to swelling, the signs aren’t always obvious. Anyone with a sports-related facial injury accompanied by a black eye, nosebleed, blurred vision or numbness in the face may have a fracture that requires oral surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have specialized training in a range of techniques for diagnosing and correcting sports-related facial fractures with a minimal amount of scarring.
Can Sports-Related Facial Injuries be Prevented?
In many cases, wearing a mouthguard or other protective equipment can help prevent facial injuries and avoid the need for oral surgery.
Five of the nation’s top dental associations, including the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD) and the American Dental Association (ADA), agree that athletes of all ages should wear mouthguards.
Although players of contact sports face the greatest risk for facial injuries, experts say that mouthguards should be worn during every type of sporting activity. When athletes don’t wear mouthguards, the likelihood of suffering a broken or knocked-out tooth is 60 times higher. The risk of severe facial fractures is also increased.
Sports-related facial injuries can’t always be prevented. When a serious accident occurs, prompt treatment from a qualified oral surgeon is essential.
If you suffer a facial injury in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. With over 10 years of oral surgery experience, our oral surgeons have the advanced skills needed to successfully treat broken or knocked-out teeth as well as facial fractures.
For an expert oral surgery consultation, contact us today. With three convenient offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah makes it easy to get treatment for sports-related facial injuries.