Facial Trauma and Injuries

Facial and Dental Trauma Services in Arizona

Facial trauma, also termed maxillofacial trauma, is intricate and typically demands specialized attention from a proficient oral surgeon. Home remedies such as an ice pack are rarely sufficient. Moreover, those with maxillofacial injuries often undergo prolonged treatments.

We hope to help you understand facial trauma, its intricacies, and its treatments. We intend to prevent potential mistakes that could adversely affect your future health.

If you’ve recently encountered significant facial trauma and are grappling with pain, consider it a dental emergency. Reach out to one of Dental Depot Arizona’s offices urgently for same-day attention.

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Understanding Maxillofacial Trauma:

Maxillofacial trauma is any physical trauma to the face. This can include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Bruises
  • Fractures
  • Broken bones, including nose, jaw, or cheekbones


This term refers to any injury to the face, encompassing:

  • Soft tissue damage, like burns and lacerations.
  • Fractures, including broken nose, jaw, or cheekbones.


Common occurrences leading to these injuries are sports mishaps, vehicle accidents, or assaults. At Dental Depot Arizona, we often attend to patients with dentoalveolar injuries, arising from sudden blows to the mouth. Such injuries can even lead to numbness.

Understanding the Causes and Types of Facial Trauma

Common Causes of Facial Injuries: Facial trauma can arise from various incidents, including:


  • Assaults
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Sports-related mishaps
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Accidental falls


Classifying Facial Injuries: At Dental Depot Arizona, we categorize facial traumas into:


  1. Soft Tissue Injuries: These can range from skin abrasions to more severe gum injuries.
  2. Bone Injuries: This covers a broad spectrum, from simple fractures to more complicated ones like fractures of the palate, cheekbone, or even the eye socket.
  3. Injuries to Sensitive Areas: Some traumas may impact delicate areas such as the eyes, ears, or facial nerves, requiring specialized care.


For any facial trauma, immediate expert intervention is crucial. Dental Depot Arizona stands equipped to handle such cases with precision and care.

The Seriousness of Facial Trauma

Facial injuries carry significant implications. The potential for permanent disfigurement looms large, threatening not only facial function but also one’s self-image. Our face is often the first point of interaction, shaping first impressions. Hence, an altered appearance can profoundly impact self-esteem, potentially influencing personal relationships and career aspirations. At Dental Depot Arizona, we emphasize the importance of timely and expert treatment to mitigate such repercussions.

Identifying and Diagnosing Facial Trauma

Detecting facial trauma involves a thorough examination. Begin by assessing facial symmetry and watch out for any discrepancies. Visible signs like bruises, swelling, and cuts are evident indicators. The nose may show signs of dislocation or telecanthus – a condition where the nasal bridge appears widened and flattened. It’s also crucial to inspect the mouth for missing teeth, loose teeth, or misalignment of the jaw. With these checks, you can quickly determine the presence and extent of trauma.

How are Dentoalveolar Injuries Treated?

Addressing such injuries often follows a phased approach.


In the initial phase, our focus is on stabilizing the fractured segments. We achieve this using petite titanium plates and screws. Additionally, any loose teeth are secured to an arch bar for added stability.


The subsequent phase centers around restoration. Here, bone grafts are introduced to mend defects, setting the groundwork for future dental implants and eventual replacement teeth. These grafts might be sourced from different parts of the patient’s jaw or procured from a human cadaver.


Typically, the healing process for bone grafts spans between four to six months.

How are Maxillary Fractures Treated?

Maxillary fractures, which affect the upper jaw, can be intricate. To grasp their nature, it’s vital to know that the maxilla is divided into three sections: upper, mid, and lower maxilla. The type and severity of facial trauma determine the classification of these fractures.


  1. Le Fort 1: This is a horizontal fracture, affecting the lower part of the Maxilla, often extending to the lower nasal septum. Such a fracture might be a result of a direct downward impact on the maxillary rim.

  2. Le Fort 2: Characterized by its pyramid shape, this fracture is a consequence of trauma to the lower or mid maxilla. Starting from the nasal bridge, it spans to the frontal maxilla, leading to facial swelling, nosebleeds, and sub-conjunctival hemorrhage.

  3. Le Fort 3: A crosswise fracture, also recognized as craniofacial disjunction, happens due to trauma to the nasal bridge or the upper maxilla. It results in the separation of facial bones from the cranial base.


A paramount concern post such trauma is the risk of blocked airways. Ensuring open air passages is crucial. Should there be facial obstructions, realignments are done immediately to restore airflow and reduce bleeding. Our primary treatment objective is to restore the natural bone structure without any visible traces of the injury.


For treating soft tissue injuries, we employ surgical sutures. The approach for bone fractures varies depending on the location, severity, and the overall health of the patient. While casts aren’t feasible for facial fractures, we utilize wires, plates, or screws for stabilization.


Some patients might need dental braces post-treatment. We always aim to maintain the patient’s original facial appearance as much as possible.


With advancements in technology, we now employ microplates and resorbable plates for facial fracture treatments. Depending on the nature of the dental injury, collaborative efforts of multiple dental specialists might be required.

How are Lower Jaw Fractures Treated?

Fractures of the lower jaw, or mandibular fractures, are prevalent, commonly resulting from direct impacts to the chin or the body of the lower jaw. Typical signs include pain, swelling, numbness in the lower lip, and misalignment of the teeth.


There are two main treatment approaches:

  1. Immobilization: In this method, the jaws are wired together, facilitating natural healing.
  2. Open Reduction: A more direct approach, this involves the strategic placement of titanium plates and screws within the jaw to align and secure the fracture.


Regardless of the chosen method, recovery typically spans four to six weeks. At Dental Depot Arizona, our commitment is to ensure a swift and efficient healing process for all our patients.

How are Zygomas (Cheekbone Fractures) treated?

Zygomas, commonly referred to as cheekbone fractures, often result from altercations or direct blows from a fist or other object. Symptoms manifest as a flattened cheek appearance, numbness in the mid-face, challenges in chewing, and restricted mouth opening due to limited motion.


At Dental Depot Arizona, the standard treatment involves:


  1. Re-positioning the Zygoma: This entails making several incisions to correctly align the fractured cheekbone.
  2. Securing with Plates and Screws: Once realigned, the zygoma is firmly held in place using surgical plates and screws.


The typical recovery period spans between four to six weeks, during which our team provides continuous support and guidance to ensure optimal healing.

What Medical Professionals are Qualified to Handle Facial Trauma?

When it comes to addressing facial traumas, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons stand out due to their specialized training and extensive experience. Beyond the rigors of dental school, they undergo an additional four to six years of hospital-based residency that predominantly focuses on maxillofacial surgery. This depth of training and hands-on experience makes them exceptionally skilled in managing intricate facial traumas compared to other medical specialists.


Our esteemed surgeons at Dental Depot Arizona are well-versed in handling facial injuries. The majority of their four-year surgical residency in hospitals revolved around maxillofacial procedures. Not only do they draw from their vast in-hospital experiences and practices, but they are also committed to ongoing education. This dedication ensures they stay abreast of cutting-edge techniques, enabling them to offer patients the pinnacle of care when confronting serious facial injuries.

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