Millions of people worldwide suffer facial fractures every year due to falls, car accidents, sports injuries, and other traumatic incidents. Even a minor facial injury can cause significant complications that can take a toll on your long-term health and wellness.
Fortunately, Brandon Kang, DDS, at Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center is skilled in advanced techniques focused on treating facial trauma and helping patients in Oakland, California, restore their facial structure and function. In this post, learn how we can help you or a loved one recover from traumatic facial injuries.
Facial trauma: The basics
Your skull contains 22 bones, and 14 of those are found in your face. Fractures in any of these bones lead to swelling, bruising, and discomfort, along with other symptoms depending on which bones are injured.
Some bones are involved in facial movement, like chewing and speaking; other bones protect your sinuses or surround your eyes. Fractures to these bones can be especially problematic, leading to serious complications if not promptly treated.
Fractures can cause different symptoms, depending on where they’re located.
Nose fractures are associated with significant bleeding from your nose, along with pain, swelling, and bruising. With some fractures, your nose may appear to be out of alignment or displaced. Swelling often interferes with breathing.
Jaw fractures often affect your teeth too. You may have missing teeth or your teeth may feel loose. Your jaw might not close or open or your teeth may not feel like they fit together.
Orbital fractures (around your eyes)
Fractures around your eyes typically cause swelling and bruising (black eyes), along with visual changes like blurry or double vision. The whites of your eyes may appear bloody or discolored, or your eyeball may look bulging or sunken. You might have trouble moving your eyes or using your eyes together.
Forehead fractures cause significant pain in your upper head, sinuses, and around your eyes. Your forehead may be very swollen or it may look dented in. Forehead fractures also often cause swelling and discoloration around your eyes.
While some facial fractures produce obvious symptoms that are readily observable, other fractures can be much harder to diagnose. Our team uses advanced imaging techniques combined with a physical exam to identify facial fractures no matter where they occur.
Treating facial trauma
Facial trauma requires a special set of skills and expertise to restore not only the shape of your face but its function. Once we have images of your injuries, Dr. Kang develops a treatment plan based specifically on your needs.
That treatment plan depends a lot on which bones are involved and the extent or severity of your fracture. While some facial fractures may heal and mend with simple support, like a splint, other fractures require surgery to set and stabilize your bones.
The first step in treating a fracture is to make sure your bones are in their proper places, with the broken edges accurately aligned. Once your bones are properly set, Dr. Kang uses screws, pins, plates, and wires to hold them in place while the tissue knits together over time. Jaw fractures may be stabilized with special wires to hold your jaw in place.
Afterward, Dr. Kang provides you with complete care instructions, scheduling follow-up visits to ensure that proper healing occurs. If you have tissue injuries in addition to fractures, he may recommend a cosmetic surgeon to reduce scarring. For eye injuries, Dr. Kang recommends additional visits with your ophthalmologist.
Count on us for state-of-the-art care
Facial trauma can be a harrowing experience. At Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center, we take extra care to ensure you get the attention you need to restore your appearance and recover normal function as you heal.
To learn more about facial trauma treatment at our practice, book an appointment with Dr. Kang online or over the phone today.