Facial Trauma

An oral and maxillofacial specialist is thoroughly qualified to repair facial injuries. These professionals are well versed in emergency care, acute treatment, and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation – not just for physical reasons, but for emotional ones as well. 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 a “hands on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long-term function and appearance.

Dr. Belton meets and exceeds these modern standards. They are trained, skilled, and uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. They are on staff at local hospitals and deliver emergency room coverage for facial injuries, which include the following conditions:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intraoral lacerations
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, or eye socket)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)

The Nature of Maxillofacial Trauma

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 to teeth to extremely severe injuries to 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).

Soft Tissue Injuries of the Maxillofacial Region

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). Dr. Belton is a well-trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon and is proficient at diagnosing and treating all types of facial lacerations.

Bone Injuries of the Maxillofacial Region

Fractures to the bones in the face are treated in a similar manner to fractures in other parts of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors, which include the location of the fracture, the severity of the fracture, and the age and general health of the patient. When an arm or leg is fractured a cast is often applied to stabilize the bone to allow for proper healing. Since a cast cannot be placed on the face, other means have been developed to stabilize facial fractures.

One of these options involves wiring the jaws together for certain fractures of the upper and/or lower jaw. Certain other types of fractures of the jaw are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small plates and screws at the involved site. This technique of treatment can often allow for healing and eliminates the necessity of having the jaws wired together. This technique is called “rigid fixation” of a fracture. The relatively recent development and use of rigid fixation has profoundly improved the recovery period for many patients, allowing them to return to normal function more quickly.

The treatment of facial fractures should be accomplished in a thorough and predictable manner. More importantly, the patient’s facial appearance should be minimally affected. An attempt at accessing the facial bones through the fewest incisions necessary is always made. At the same time, the incisions that become necessary are designed to be small and, whenever possible, are placed so that the resultant scar is hidden.

Injuries to the Teeth & Surrounding Dental Structures

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.

Center for Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 4 Facial Trauma reviews

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was in so much pain and they were able to squeeze me into their busy schedule. As usual i get very nervous when having to deal with any work done to my teeth but Dr. Belton and his staff were extremely professional and caring. Dr. Belton made sure to take care of me after a failed root canal i got done somewhere else. He answered any questions i had and talked me thru the whole process and was very friendly as well as his staff. This is my second time coming here and I am very pleased that i did. Dr. Belton himself even goes out of his way to call you later on during the day to check up on you which I appreciated. I highly recommend people to come here. Thank you Dr. Belton and your staff for your service.

- Elizabeth R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Staff and doctor made me feel very safe and special. They assured me that all will go well and that they are all prepared for an emergency. They were able to squeeze me in for same day surgery which was a great relief because I would not have been able to make it at another time. Dr. Belton called me later on in the day to see how I was doing and THAT I deeply appreciate. You were all good to me and my husband and I thank you all so very much!!

- Danielle A

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The staff is knowledgeable. They are able to answer questions. They are efficient. It was a great experience because they worked smoothly together. Seamlessly moving from one stage to the next. They understood this was my first time in their office. They took the time to explain what they were doing yet never seemed patronizing. The doctor is skilled and puts a person at ease. Very gracious and professional. I was pleasantly surprised to have a call later in the evening to see how things were post procedure. Loved that followup. It only took a moment, but mattered a lot to me. I was very impressed. Every part of the team was exemplary.

- Annette Q

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Fantastic service


5 out of 5 stars on