After An Accident: Facial Trauma and Healing
About Facial Trauma
It’s important to understand that facial trauma can impact any person, at any age. Facial trauma is an injury that can affect the teeth, jaws, bone, or facial skin of a patient. Most facial trauma injuries are a result of accidents. According to a 2016 study published by the National Institutes of Health, a majority of facial trauma injuries are caused by traffic accidents, followed by falls, assaults, and contact sports injuries.
Sustaining a facial trauma injury can have a serious impact on a person’s self-esteem. If cuts to facial tissues are not properly sutured, it can lead to scarring and disfigurement. Facial trauma can also be a serious quality of life issue for some patients. When the oral cavity is damaged and a person loses several teeth, it can make it difficult to speak or to enjoy or eat a meal properly.
Facial Trauma Repair Techniques
Repair techniques for facial trauma depend on the type of injury present. Facial trauma injuries can be soft tissue injuries to the skin or gums, bone fractures, or injuries to special structures like the eye socket or nerves. Dr. Sedaros offers the following techniques to aid in the healing process from facial trauma:
- Dental implants
- Bone grafting
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Corrective jaw surgery and TMJ reconstruction
- Cosmetic surgery
- Dentoalveolar surgery
Dental Implants for Facial Trauma
Dental implants can be a highly effective way to restore the appearance and function of the mouth after a traumatic facial injury. When a person has several teeth avulsed, or “knocked out,” in an accident or assault, it can change the shape of their face. If you’ve ever seen an elderly person take out a full set of dentures, you probably noticed that their face immediately takes on a “sunken” appearance without the dentures in place. We can provide teeth implants to help restore the appearance and function after losing teeth.
Bone Grafting: In order for a dental implant procedure to be successful, the patient’s jawbone needs to have enough structure to support the implant. If a person has lost too much jawbone structure due to age, periodontal disease, or injury, a bone grafting procedure might be recommended. In this procedure, surgery is performed to attach a piece of bone from another part of the patient’s body (usually the hip or upper jawbone) to the jawbone. Other materials aside from the patient’s bone can also be used for this, which Dr. Sedaros will explain to you beforehand. When the bone graft procedure heals, there should be enough bone structure in place for the implant procedure to move forward.
Dental Implants: The first stage of a dental implant, if bone grafting is not required, is a surgical procedure to install dental posts into the jawbone. The oral surgeon opens the gums and drills holes in the jawbone to receive the posts. The posts are implanted deeply in the jawbone because these will eventually be the roots of the replacement teeth. Once the posts have fused to the jawbone through osseointegration, a second procedure is performed to reopen the gums and attach abutments to the posts. The abutments remain exposed until the gums heal. Finally, the patient’s replacement teeth or “crowns” are attached to the posts.
Facial Trauma With Dr. Sedaros in Melbourne, FL
The dental implant procedure takes place in stages, but the end result is to produce the following goals for a person who has suffered tooth loss due to facial trauma:
- “Sunken” facial appearance is corrected
- Teeth are restored, which in return restores the patient’s self-esteem and lifestyle
- Quality of life improves due to restored functions of chewing, drinking, speaking and smiling.
Dental implants are just one facial trauma procedure provided by Dr. Sedaros and his caring, compassionate staff in Melbourne, FL. If you need the services of an experienced oral surgeon for facial trauma recovery in Melbourne, contact our office today at (321) 610-7868 to schedule an appointment.