Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform comprehensive treatment of facial injuries. They are well-versed in emergency care, acute treatment, and long term reconstruction and rehabilitation – not just for physical reasons but emotional as well. 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 “hands on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence long term function and appearance. If you have questions about Facial Trauma, call our Davis office at Davis Office Phone Number 530-753-0550. Dr. Tomaichmeets and exceeds these modern standards. He is trained, skilled and qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. He is on staff at local hospitals and delivers emergency room coverage for facial injuries, such as:

  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose, eye socket, etc.)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Facial lacerations
  • Dentoalveolar injuries

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. Typically, facial injuries are classified as either soft tissue injuries (skin and muscles), 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

When soft tissue injuries such as lacerations occur on the face, they 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 nerves, salivary glands and salivary ducts. Dr. Tomaichis 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 fractures in other parts of the body. The specific form of treatment is determined by various factors, which include 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 necessity of having the jaws wired together. This technique is called “rigid fixation” of a fracture. The 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 fracturesis accomplished in a thorough and predictable manner so that the patient’s facial appearance is affected as little as possible. Access to the facial bones is made through the fewest incisions possible, and the incisions that are necessary are designed to be as small as possible. Whenever possible, they are placed so that the resultant scar is hidden.

Injuries to the Teeth and Surrounding Dental Structures

facial-tramaIsolated injuries to teeth are quitecommon and may require the expertise of various dental specialists. Oral surgeons usually are involved in treating fractures in the supporting bone of the teeth, or in replanting teeth that have been displaced or knocked out. These types of injuries are treated by one of a number of forms of splinting (stabilization 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 reinserted into the dental socket, the better chance it will have to 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 holds 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 often now utilized as replacements for missing teeth. The proper treatment of facial injuries is now the realm of specialists who are well versed in emergency care, acute treatment, long term reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the patient.