Oral Surgery & Implant Specialists

Four Offices Serving the Tri-State Area of lowa, Nebraska & South Dakota
Dr. T.J. Holton, Dr. P.J. Vezeau, Dr. C.E. Norby, Dr. J.S. Dean & Dr. J.E. Dye

Facial Trauma

What is Facial Trauma?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in the evaluation and treatment of facial trauma. Injuries to the face affect patients both physically and emotionally. We are aware of the sensitive nature of these types of injuries, and are available to treat all patients with any type of facial trauma. Our doctors are on staff of all local hospitals and are available to the emergency room for facial trauma treatment.

What are Types of Facial Trauma?

• Knocked-out teeth

• Fractured jaws (lower and upper jaw)

• Fractured facial bones (eye socket, cheek, or nose)

• Facial lacerations

• Bruising, scrapes, jaw joint injuries

What Causes Facial Trauma?

There are several causes of facial trauma, such as sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, interpersonal violence, accidental falls, and work-related injuries. The types of facial injuries range from moderate to severe (ranging from tooth injuries, to extremely severe injuries to the skin and bones of the face).

How are Facial Injuries Treated?

Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are repaired with the goal of ensuring the best cosmetic results and to be sure that that your facial nerves, salivary glands, and salivary ducts are intact and functioning properly.

Bony Injuries
Fractures to the bones in your face are treated similarly to fractures in other parts of your body. The form of treatment is dependent on the location and severity of the fracture, your age and general health. A cast is often used when an arm or leg is fractured, but since a cast cannot be placed on your face, we use other methods to stabilize facial fractures.

Sometimes jaws are wired together for fractures to the upper and/or lower jaw. Other types of jaw fractures are treated by surgically placing small plates and screws at the injury site. This technique (called “rigid fixation”) is often used to give more stability to the fractured bone and allow for necessary healing. This type of procedure allows patients to return to normal function quickly. The bio-compatible nature of rigid fixation makes removal of bone mini-plates and mini-screws unnecessary.

We ensure your appearance will be minimally affected by accessing facial bones using the fewest incisions necessary. All necessary incisions are small as possible to minimize scarring.

Teeth and Surrounding Dental Structures Injuries

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons commonly treat tooth fractures or replace teeth that have been knocked out or displaced. These injuries are treated by a number of forms of splinting (bonding or wiring teeth together). If your tooth is knocked out, it should be replaced into the socket if possible. Alternatively, temporary storage in salt water or milk can keep the tooth viable for a short period of time. The tooth needs to be inserted back into the dental socket as soon as possible for the best chance of survival. You should never wipe the tooth off because there may be remnants of the ligament that held the tooth in the jaw and are vital to replanting the tooth successfully.

Figure 1: Jaw Fracture
Figure 2 : Surgical Plates Placed at the Surgical Site
Figure 3 : Normal Function Quickly Returned