One of the most common types of serious injury to
the face occurs when bones are broken. Fractures can
involve the lower jaw, upper jaw, palate, cheekbones,
eye sockets and combinations of these bones. These
injuries can affect sight and the ability to breathe,
speak and swallow. Treatment often requires hospitalization.
Our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are experienced
in treating the most complex facial fractures and
The principles for treating facial fractures are
the same as for a broken arm or leg. The parts of
the bone must be lined up (reduced) and held in position
long enough to permit them time to heal. This may
require six or more weeks depending on the patient's
age and the fracture's complexity.
Don't treat any facial injury lightly
While not all facial injuries are extensive, they
are all complex since they affect an area of the body
that is critical to breathing, eating, speaking and
seeing. Even in the case of a moderately cut lip,
the expertise of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
is indispensable. If sutures are needed, placement
must be precise to bring about the desired cosmetic
result. So a good rule of thumb is not to take any
facial injury lightly.
Prevention : The best policy
Avoiding injury is always best. Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgeons advocate the use of automobile seat belts,
protective mouth guards, and appropriate masks and
helmets for everyone who participates in athletic
pursuits at any level. You don't have to play at the
professional level to sustain a serious head injury.
New innovations in helmet, and mouth, and face guard
technology have made these devices comfortable to
wear and very effective in protecting the vulnerable
maxillofacial area. Make sure you're well protected.
In the event a facial or mouth injury occurs that
requires a trip to the emergency room, the injured
patient, his parent or coach should be sure to ask
that an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is called for
consultation. With their background and training,
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are the specialists
most qualified to deal with these types of injuries.
In some cases, they may even detect a "hidden"
injury that might otherwise go unnoticed.