Dr John Fisher, Maxillofacial & Oral Surgeon

Trauma to the soft and hard tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region

What causes oral and maxillofacial trauma?

Facial trauma often occurs as a result of car accidents, sports injuries and incidents of violence. In these types of cases, teeth can often be broken, misplaced or fractured. Facial bone fractures can occur as a simple mandible (lower jaw) fracture, but can also involve the frontal bone (forehead), orbits (eye sockets), zygomatic bones (fractured cheekbone), maxilla (top jaw) and nasal bones.

How can trauma be treated?

Management of maxillofacial trauma may require open reduction surgery under general anesthesia well as internal fixations with the use of titanium microplates and screws.

What kinds of trauma can be treated?

There are a number of types of injuries to the maxillofacial area. Some of the most common of these facial injuries include:

  • Injuries to the soft tissue : Injuries to soft tissue in the facial region can be fixed with sutures. Repairs are done with utmost care as to avoid damage to the facial nerves and sensitive glands.
  • Injuries to the teeth and surrounding areas : Trauma to the teeth can sometimes be treated with a simple dental procedure, although more serious injuries may need to be managed under general anesthesia in hospital.
  • Jaw and cheekbone fractures : Fractures to the jaws can be corrected surgically. Teeth may need to be wired as part of this process.
  • Cheekbone fractures : Fractures to the cheekbone can be very painful and can affect one's ability to move the jaw. Surgery can be conducted to realign the bones .
  • Nasal fractures : Fractures to the nose are a relatively common injury and can sometimes be healed on their own with time. If, however, there is considerable cosmetic damage or if the fracture impacts on other structures in the face, surgery may be required.