Restoring Smiles after Severe Facial Trauma
Maxillofacial injuries or facial trauma broadly encompass any injury sustained to the mouth, face, or jaw. They are usually the result of direct physical trauma: car crashes, sports-related incidents, falls, acts of violence, or on-the-job accidents. Patients are often left with severe damage to their teeth, as well as the skin, soft tissue, and bones of the face.
In most cases, patients suffering from such facial trauma require immediate medical attention. As a maxillofacial surgery specialist, Dr. Sean M. Healy coordinates with local hospitals to repair damage to the mouth and surrounding structures. Patients in and around Santa Fe, NM, can receive comprehensive, transformative medical care to restore shape and function to the bones and muscles of the face.
Types of Facial Trauma
Severe facial trauma is typically categorized into three broad categories: soft tissue injuries, bone injuries, and tooth-related injuries.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: These typically include lacerations to the skin, gums, facial nerves, and salivary glands. Dr. Healy and his fellow doctors can often repair these wounds with small, simple stitches. While patients will need to limit movement in order to support a quick recovery, soft tissue injuries are often much easier to recover from than broken bones or tooth fractures.
- Bone Injuries: Because doctors cannot apply a cast to a broken upper or lower jaw, other options are necessary to stabilize the bones while they heal. Depending on the location and severity of the break, we may recommend either small plates or wires to keep the jaw stable. While wires are the more restrictive option, they offer greater stability and are consequently suited to more severe breaks.
- Teeth and Surrounding Areas: Oftentimes, damage to the face can leave patients with fractured or missing teeth. In addition to his expertise as a maxillofacial and oral surgery specialist, Dr. Healy also extracts damaged teeth and places dental implants to repair your bite and prevent potential jawbone degeneration. For this purpose, he is proud to offer world-renowned Nobel Biocare dental implants, which are crafted from safe and biocompatible materials.
Because treatment depends so heavily on the specific injuries, the timeline for recovery can vary enormously from patient to patient. Dr. Healy can provide instructions for at-home care tailored to your needs.
Choosing a Qualified Surgeon
Maxillofacial injuries often result in multi-system trauma. Consequently, comprehensive treatment requires coordinated care between many different types of physicians, from oral surgeons to ophthalmologists to plastic surgeons and facial reconstruction specialists. At The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center of Santa Fe, we perform advanced surgical procedures by relying on extensive experience and the most advanced medical technologies. CAT scans, cone beam scans, and Panorex x-rays allow Dr. Healy and his team deliver transformative results in a safe and comfortable environment for patients.
Restore Function to Your Smile
Coping with unexpected trauma can be difficult, especially when it affects one of the most visible parts of your body. Dr. Healy and his dedicated team strive to ensure comprehensive, coordinated care that addresses all aspects of your injuries. If you require immediate medical assistance for facial trauma, call us at (505) 984-0694.
“I was nervous... but Dr. Healy and his nurses put me at ease, and he even gave me a call the evening after surgery to make sure I was ok.” From a Google Review