If you suffer a facial trauma during an automobile collision, sports accident, or even an assault, you need an expert surgeon to repair and restore your face and jaw. The expert oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Fairfield Oral Surgery and Implantology, in Fairfield, California, have years of clinical training and experience in surgically repairing facial trauma injuries. If you’re looking for an expert surgeon, call or schedule a consultation online today.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES OF FACIAL TRAUMA?
More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year. If you’re hit in the face with enough impact to loosen or dislodge a tooth, chances are you’re sustaining additional traumatic facial trauma such as a broken jaw or cheekbone.
The most common causes of facial trauma are car collisions and sports accidents. You could also sustain a traumatic facial injury during a fall, workplace accident, or even through interpersonal violence.
Children and young people are most likely to sustain facial trauma during a sports accident. All athletes, especially children, should wear a mouthguard while training and competing.
Why is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon best placed to repair facial trauma?
In addition to being painful and frightening, facial trauma can also interfere with your appearance and your self-confidence. That’s why it’s critical that you work with an experienced maxillofacial surgeon when it comes to repairing facial trauma such as fractured jawbones, cheekbones, and orbital bones.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete extensive surgical training, including intensive residency programs where they hone and perfect their skills as facial surgeons. They study facial anatomy and the precise way the jaw joint works and how the small muscles and connective tissues all work together to allow you to speak and eat.
CAN FACIAL FRACTURES HEAL ON THEIR OWN?
You should never leave a facial injury to heal on its own. The facial skeleton is a very complex structure that provides support for the nerves. These nerves are responsible for the senses of sight, hearing, taste and touch. Leaving a facial injury can cause permanent damage to these nerves and a loss of sense. Breaking a jaw bone could lead to problems with chewing or breathing. And because the face is very close to the central nervous system, any impact to the face may have also affected the spine and the spinal cord.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR SURGERY?
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions before your surgery. However, in general, you shouldn’t eat after midnight or have any alcohol or tobacco products on the night before your surgery. Take off all nail polish and make sure you have a friend or family member who can drive you to and from your appointment.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER FACIAL TRAUMA SURGERY?
Recovery times and experiences vary between patients. For example, you may or may not need to stay overnight after your surgery. Your surgeon will give you instructions and prescriptions to manage your pain and to take care of your teeth after your procedure. You’ll have follow-up appointments to make sure you’re healing well, and that function is returning to your jaw.
How long will a facial fracture take to heal?
You may be wondering when your face will return to normal after fracturing a bone in your face. The swelling and bruising will start to go down after one or two weeks. Bones will take longer to heal and return to their former strength. A full recovery is likely after 6 to 8 weeks.
How long will it take for sensation to return after a facial injury?
You may have to wait many weeks or even months for the sensation to recover from a facial fracture. The nerves which are responsible for the sensations of touch, pain, and heat pass through the bones to the facial tissue. When these bones fracture they can impede the signal or damage it altogether. Sometimes it is only the swelling that is affecting these nerves and after time the sensation will return. In other cases, there may be some areas of the face when the sensation does not return because of the damaged nerves.