Options for Treating Dental Injuries
Dental injuries can occur at any given time. An auto accident, sports injury, assault or domestic violence can result in varying degrees of damage to the face, mouth, and teeth. Sometimes, simply tripping and falling can result in a dental injury. Depending upon the extent of the injury, it may be necessary to seek professional help from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who are the only dental specialists properly trained to handle any facial, oral or dental trauma.
When the injury affects the mouth, face, or jaw, our experienced dental surgeon serving Chicago can provide truly specialized care. After completing undergraduate and dental school curriculums, dental surgeons go on to complete medical school curriculum and a minimum of four years in a hospital-based surgery program.
Graduates of these intensive programs are more than well-prepared to perform emergency dental procedures, administer sedatives and anesthetics, and provide cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. Special attention is centered on the intricate anatomy of the head, neck, and face, which need to be treated with particular expertise.
When the bones of the face, nose, eyes, jaws, or cheeks have been broken, oral and maxillofacial surgery is typically the most appropriate treatment option. Whenever possible, the broken bones will be repositioned to reflect the best possible alignment. The technique of Rigid Fixation where surgical-grade wires, titanium plates, and screws are used to hold the bones in position during the healing process.
If the traumatic injury has resulted in the fracture of the upper jaw, your dental surgeon may suggest wiring the jaw closed. Usually IMF (intermaxillary fixation) screws are used to reduce the fracture and hold the jaws in place. Also archbars, which are similar to braces, may be attached to the teeth and wires or elastic bands perform the important task of keeping the teeth together for a period of time. This treatment option helps to maintain properly positioned teeth as the bones are allowed to fuse together.
An injury that involves a laceration to the soft tissue (tongue, cheeks, lips, face) typically requires that the bleeding be under control prior to placing multi-layered sutures. With precision and attention to detail, soft tissue injuries can heal beautifully, with minimal scarring.
Broken bones and lacerated tissue should always be considered as serious injuries. Understanding your treatment options can prevent severe bleeding, scarring, disfigurement, abnormal bite, and difficulty eating. If you have suffered a dental injury, immediately contact the office of Drs. Steven Koos and Brian Shah, your dual degree dental surgeons serving Cook County Chicago. Call 312-328-9000 for emergency dental treatment.