Facial trauma includes any sort of physical injury to the face, but in this case especially where the jaw or facial bones are fractured. The most common causes of facial trauma we see are from vehicle accidents and sporting injuries, and also work-related injuries. Usually lower jaw injuries require immediate treatment, whereas others such as fractures to the eye-socket or upper jaw are commonly left for 7-14 days to allow the swelling to subside.
Most facial trauma surgery will require a general anaesthetic and a hospital stay. Titanium mini-plates and screws may be required to repair the damage, and the jaw may need to be fixed shut in some cases.
Please note that only a trained Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon should operate on facial fractures, as other doctors (such as plastic surgeons) generally won’t have the requisite dental background to cater for occlusion (correct function of the teeth & jaw).
Depending on the severity of the injuries, a stay in hospital after surgery is typically needed, until the patient is able to tolerate a liquid diet and the pain & discomfort is under control.
For several weeks following surgery, a soft diet is required, with no chewing until Dr Henze confirms the bone is healing correctly and able to take the strain.