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4 Types of Facial Fractures that Require Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is often necessary for severe facial fractures, especially those that affect the ability to eat, speak, breathe or see. Restoring vital functions requires the expertise of a highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon. These complex injuries are not easy to correct, so experience in surgical treatment and facial reconstruction is a must.


Oral surgeons have expertise in treating serious facial fractures, which typically fall into one of four main categories.

No. 1: Jaw Fractures

Auto accidents, falls and sports activities can lead to fractures in the upper jaw (maxilla), the lower jaw (mandible) or both. In many cases, jaw fractures are accompanied by loosened, damaged or knocked-out teeth.

Professional oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform oral surgery to restore proper alignment and stabilize the jaws. And since oral surgeons specialize in treating injured tooth sites and replacing missing teeth, they are the most qualified to address jaw-related facial injuries.

No. 2: Cheekbone Fractures

Cheekbone fractures can be the result of violence, falling, playing sports or being in a car accident. Also called zygomatic bone injuries, these facial fractures are easy to overlook, as they are usually not associated with function problems — at least initially.

However, if not recognized and treated in a timely manner by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, this type of facial injury can cause undesirable cosmetic and functional outcomes. With serious cheekbone injuries, oral surgery may be required to restore the bone to its former shape and position.

No. 3: Nasal Fractures

The nose is a prominent facial feature, and as such, a frequent site of facial fractures. Blunt-force trauma is typically the culprit. In fact, any strong blow to the face, whether from a sports activity, an accident, a fall or violence, can result in a broken nose.

Oral surgery is not always required for fractures in the nasal area. However, if breathing is obstructed or the nose is visibly off-center, oral and maxillofacial surgical intervention may be required.

No. 4: Orbital Fractures

Fractures of the eye socket are often caused by punches to the face, but auto accidents and sports activities are other common causes.

Most orbital fractures affect the bottom portion of the eye socket, where the bone is thinner. As with nasal injuries, oral surgery isn’t always necessary for eye injuries. But if the eyeball is displaced from its normal position, or if double vision occurs, the patient will likely require surgical treatment.

Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are trained, certified and experienced at treating all types of facial fractures and injuries. Serving the greater Salt Lake City area, we also provide a full range of oral and maxillofacial services, including dental implants, wisdom tooth extraction and treatment for sleep apnea and TMJ disorders.

To learn more, contact one of our three convenient offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele and schedule an oral surgery consultation today.

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