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Oral Trauma and Maxillofacial Surgery Overview

Oral and maxillofacial trauma can vary from an abscessed tooth caused by a minor fall to pan-facial injuries in the setting of a polytraumatized patient involved in a car collision.

The dental expert is in charge of treating facial injuries. These specialists must be well-trained in emergency treatment, acute therapy, and long-term rebuilding and rehab – not only physically but also emotionally.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are particularly prepared to manage and treat facial injuries due to their training, expertise, and experience. Face injuries, by definition, cause a great deal of emotional as well as physical damage to patients.

The science and philosophy of healing these injuries need specialized training that includes “hands-on” experience, and a grasp of how the therapy delivered will affect the patient’s long-term health and appearance. In this article, we learn about oral trauma and maxillofacial surgery with industry insight from Dr. Jay Johannigman.

What is Maxillofacial Trauma?

Maxillofacial trauma or facial trauma relates to any damage to the tissues or bones, primarily of the jaw and face. Car accidents, slips and falls, dog wounds, blisters, and participation in sports can all result in these sorts of harms. The following are examples of common traumatic injuries to the face:

  • Orbital or ocular (bones surrounding your eyes) fracture
  • Cheekbone fracture
  • Jaw fracture
  • A fractured brow
  • Nose fracture
  • Dental injuries, such as broken or missing teeth
  • Fractures in the bone that surrounds your teeth
  • Tumors, etc.

What Are Soft Tissue Injuries?

Suturing is used to treat soft tissue wounds such as gashes on the cheek. Aside from the apparent issue of giving the greatest cosmetic outcome possible, attention is paid to inspecting for and treating damage to the area such as facial nerves, oropharynx, and salivary ducts, or outflow channels.

Bone Injuries in the Facial Region

Cracks of the face’s bone fragments are treated in the same way as breaks of other areas of the body are. The precise manner of therapy is influenced by several criteria, including the location of the fracture, the extent of the fracture, the patient’s age, and overall health. Whenever an arm or leg is shattered, a cast is frequently used to support the bone and facilitate normal healing. Because a cast cannot be applied to the face, different methods of stabilizing facial fractures have been devised.

For some upper and/or lower jaw injuries, one of these possibilities is to wire the jaws together. Other forms of jaw fractures are effectively treated and sustained by surgical implantation of tiny metal plates at the affected spot.

“Facial fractures should be treated in a comprehensive and predictable way. More essential, the patient’s physical features should be impacted as little as possible. Every effort is made to access the facial bones using the fewest incisions possible. Simultaneously, any incisions that are required are planned to be tiny and, where feasible, are positioned such that the resulting scar is covered.” Stated Dr. Jay Johannigman.

Injuries in the Dental Region

Independent dental injuries are fairly prevalent and may need the knowledge of several dental professionals. Oral surgeons are typically involved in the treatment of fractures in the underlying bone as well as the transplanting of teeth that were misplaced or knocked off. These sorts of fractures are addressed with one of many splinting methods, i.e., stabilizing by wiring or bonding teeth together. If a tooth is knocked out, put it in saltwater or milk. The sooner the tooth is replaced in the dental socket, the higher its chances of survival.

The effective treatment of facial wounds is now the domain of professionals trained in emergency medical care, acute therapy, long-term repair, and client therapy.

About Jay Johannigman

Jay A. Johannigman, M.D. is a military trauma and critical care surgeon based in Texas. He is the Chief Medical Officer for Knight Aerospace based in San Antonio. Dr. Jay Johannigman has over 38 years of experience in the medical field and is the former director of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for nearly two decades. As a member of the United States Army Reserves, Dr. Johannigman taught at the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in the department of surgery.

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