Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstruction Surgery: Facial Trauma
By virtue of Dr. Punjabi‘s dual board certifications in both Plastic Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the Inland Empire he is experienced, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat Facial Trauma. Injuries to the face, by their very nature, impart a high degree of emotional, as well as physical trauma to patients. The science and art of treating these injuries requires special training involving hands-on experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long term function and appearance. Examples of traumas are not limited to, but may include: Facial Lacerations, Intraoral Lacerations, Avulsed (knocked out) Teeth, Fractured Facial Bones or Fractured Jaws.
There are a number of possible causes of facial trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, accidental falls, sports injuries, interpersonal violence and work-related injuries. Types of facial injuries can range from injuries of teeth to extremely severe injuries of the skin and bones of the face. Typically, facial injuries are classified as either soft tissue injuries (skin and gums), bone injuries (fractures), or injuries to special regions (such as the eyes, facial nerves or the salivary glands).
When soft tissue injuries such as lacerations occur on the face, they are repaired by suturing. In addition to the obvious concern of providing a repair that yields the best cosmetic result possible, care is taken to inspect for and treat injuries to structures such as facial nerves, salivary glands and salivary ducts (or outflow channels).
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 patient. If you are ever affected by a facial trauma, Dr. Punjabi is one of the most qualified and best surgeons in the Inland Empire. Give our office at Terracina Surgical Arts a call to learn more about Maxillofacial and cosmetic plastic surgery in the Inland Empire.