Facial trauma refers to injuries to the facial soft tissue (skin and gums), as well as fractures of facial bones, including the maxilla (upper jaw), mandible (lower jaw), cheekbones, nasal bone and eye sockets. It can also involve injuries to the eyes, facial nerves and salivary glands.
Facial trauma is most commonly caused by car accidents, falls, sports injuries, work-related injuries and physical violence. We treat both the physical injury while giving special attention to the emotional needs of each patient.
Because these injuries are often the result of traumatic events, we believe the maxillofacial surgeon’s heart is as important as his knowledge. Dr. Haghighi is known for helping patients through the emotional highs and lows of facial trauma treatment. He draws upon his experience in emergency care, acute treatment, long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation to provide patients with peace of mind while helping them feel, function and look better.
The specific form of treatment for facial trauma is determined by a number of factors, including the location and severity of the injury, and the age and general health of the patient. Dr. Haghighi also looks for and treats related injuries to facial nerves, salivary glands and salivary ducts.
Facial trauma can vary greatly with regards to severity and complexity, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation and ask whatever questions you may have.
Bone Injuries of the Maxillofacial Region
Fractures of the bones of the face are treated in a manner similar to the 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, the age, and general health of the patient.
Fractures of the jaw are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small plates and screws at the involved site. Fractures can be simple involving a single bone or more complex involving multiple bones. Surgical treatment of fractures is performed in an operating room setting in a hospital or surgicenter facility.
The treatment of facial fractures is designed to resume normal function and restore facial esthetics. An attempt at accessing the facial bones through the fewest incisions necessary is always made. At the same time, the incisions that become necessary, are designed to be small and, whenever possible, are placed so that the resultant scar is hidden.
Injuries To The Teeth & Surrounding Dental Structures
Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common and may require the expertise of various dental specialists. Oral surgeons usually are involved in treating fractures in the supporting bone or in replanting teeth that have been displaced or knocked out. These types of injuries are treated by one of a number of forms of splinting (stabilizing by wiring or bonding teeth together). If a tooth is knocked out, it should be placed in salt water or milk. The sooner the tooth is re-inserted into the dental socket, the better chance it will survive. Therefore, the patient should see a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. Never attempt to wipe the tooth off, since remnants of the ligament that hold the tooth in the jaw are attached and are vital to the success of replanting the tooth. 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.
The proper treatment of facial injuries is now the realm of specialists who are well versed in emergency care, acute treatment, long-term reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the injured patient.