Facial Trauma

Dental specialists generally perform the proper treatment of facial injuries. These professionals must be well-trained in emergency care, acute treatment, and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. 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. Will, in Urbana, Maryland, meets and exceeds these modern standards. In fact, his training, skill, and experience make him uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. He is on staff at local hospitals to provide emergency room care 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 of teeth to extremely severe injuries of 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

Soft tissue injuries, like lacerations, 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. Will 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 of the bones of the face are treated in a manner similar to the fractures in other parts of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors, including the location of the fracture, the severity of the fracture, and the age and general health of the patient. When an arm or a 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 obviates the need to have 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 that only minimally affects the patient’s facial appearance. We always attempt to access the facial bones with the fewest number of incisions necessary. When incisions are necessary, they are designed to be small and, when possible, placed so that scars are hidden.

Injuries to the Teeth and Surrounding Dental Structures

Isolated injuries to teeth are quite common and may require the expertise of dental specialists. Oral surgeons can treat fractures in the supporting bone, or they can replant teeth which 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 the 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 used as replacements.

Dr. Will is a board certified oral surgeon specializing in procedures dealing with facial trauma and can suggest appropriate treatment. Contact Will Surgical Arts in Maryland to schedule a consultation. Our oral and maxillofacial surgery practice is conveniently located in Ijamsville, which is just a short drive for residents of Frederick, MD and the Washington, DC metro area. Call (301) 874-1707 for more information about facial trauma treatments.

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“Dr. Will’s skill is highly appreciated. His team is excellent.”

“Patient care was incredible! We are so very happy our child was referred to Dr. Will. “We appreciate the attentiveness given to his medical condition. Will highly recommend to others.”

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Meet Doctor Will

Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

He completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Will also completed a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Will Surgical Arts