Facial trauma encompasses any injury to the mouth, face, or jaw. Injuries can range from minor abrasions to broken bones, but it is always a good policy to seek professional care in the case of facial trauma. If fractures or complications are left untreated, they may affect a patient's ability to breathe, speak, and swallow in the future.
Why do I need to see an oral surgeon in addition to my regular doctor?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in the treatment of the teeth, mouth, jaw and surrounding facial structures. Oral surgeons complete four or more years of hospital-based surgical residency training in addition to their doctorate of dental surgery. This training prepares your oral surgeon to recognize and treat facial injuries. Dr. Babiuk will assess the facial trauma and work with the patient and their doctor during the recovery process.
What type of treatment can my oral surgeon prescribe?
Primary treatment for facial injuries often requires hospitalization. In the case of bone fractures, wiring and plating can be used to reposition the upper and lower jaw, and rubber bands and wires can be used to hold the jaw together. Dr. Babiuk can also replant teeth that have been displaced or knocked out by the trauma. Facial injuries can be minor, but treatment is always complicated due to the importance of facial structures and cosmetic concerns. The best type of care will involve the input of multiple specialists to make sure that no component of treatment is overlooked.
How do I prevent facial trauma?
Athletes who participate in contact sports, bikers, and people with hazardous professions are at increased risk for maxillofacial injuries. If you are at increased risk for facial injury, make sure to always wear proper gear, such as a helmet and/or mouth guard. The best means of ensuring that all features of your face remain healthy and functional, preventing facial trauma in the first place, is always the best policy.