A severe facial fracture often requires oral surgery, especially if it affects the ability to eat, speak, breathe, or see. A highly trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon must be consulted to restore vital functions. Because these complex injuries cannot be easily corrected, experience in surgical treatment and facial reconstruction is essential.
The four main types of facial fractures that are treated by oral surgeons fall into four categories.
Fractures of the jaw
The upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) may be fractured as a result of auto accidents, falls, and sports activities. Many jaw fractures are accompanied by loosened, damaged, or lost teeth.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform oral surgery to restore the jaw’s alignment and stability. Because oral surgeons specialize in treating injured tooth sites and replacing missing teeth, they are well suited to address jaw-related facial injuries.
A fractured cheekbone can result from violence, falling, playing sports, or being in a car accident. Often called zygomatic bone injuries, these facial fractures are overlooked, as they usually don’t result in functional impairments.
However, if not recognized and treated by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, this type of facial injury can result in undesirable cosmetic and functional outcomes. A serious cheekbone injury may require oral surgery to return the bone to its former shape and position.
Fractures of the nose are common because it is a prominent feature of the face. Blunt-force trauma is the most common cause. Any blow to the face, whether from sports, an accident, a fall, or violence, can cause a broken nose.
Fractures of the nose do not always require oral surgery. However, if breathing is obstructed or if the nose is visibly off-center, oral and maxillofacial surgery may be required.
A punch to the face often results in a fractured eye socket, but auto accidents and sports activities are also common causes.
Almost all orbital fractures occur in the bottom portion of the eye socket, where the bone is thinner. As with nasal injuries, oral surgery isn’t always needed for eye injuries. However, if the eyeball is displaced from its normal position, or if double vision develops, the patient will likely require surgery.
The oral surgery team at our office is experienced, trained, and certified in treating all types of facial fractures and injuries. In addition, we offer a full range of oral and maxillofacial services, including dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, and treatment for sleep apnea and TMJ disorders.