Facial Trauma | Fractured Jaw | Facial Injury

Oral Surgeon Bellevue & Renton WA

An oral and maxillofacial specialist is thoroughly qualified to repair facial injuries. We are well versed in emergency care, acute treatment, and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The Nature of Facial Trauma

There are a number of possible causes of facial trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, sports injuries, interpersonal violence, and work-related injuries. Types of facial injuries can range from injuries to teeth to extremely severe injuries to the skin and bones of the face. Typically, facial injuries are classified as either soft tissue injuries (skin and gums) and bone injuries (fractures).

Soft Tissue Injuries

When soft tissue injuries occur on the face, they are primarily repaired by suturing. In addition to the obvious concern of providing a repair that yields the best cosmetic result possible, care is taken to inspect for and treat injuries to other critical structures such as nerves or salivary ducts.

Bone Injuries

Fractures to the facial bones are treated in a similar manner to fractures in other parts of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors, which include the location of the fracture, the severity of the fracture, and the age and general health of the patient. 

Sometimes, wiring the jaws together for certain fractures of the upper and/or lower jaw is necessary. Certain types of fractures are best treated by the surgical placement of plates and screws at the involved site. This technique of treatment can often allow for healing and eliminates the necessity of having the jaws wired together. This technique is called “rigid fixation” of a fracture.

Injuries to the Teeth

Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common and may require the expertise of various dental specialists. Oral surgeons are usually involved in treating fractures in the supporting bone, or in replanting teeth that have been displaced or avulsed. These types of injuries are treated by one of a number of forms of splinting (stabilizing by wiring or bonding teeth together). Other dental specialists may be called upon, such as endodontists, who may be asked to perform root canal therapy, and/or restorative dentists, who may need to repair or rebuild fractured teeth. In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, dental implants are often now utilized as replacements for missing teeth.