Michael L. Bleeker, DMD
Maxillofacial Prosthodontists are specialist trained to prosthetically restore oral and facial trauma that cannot be corrected through modern surgical techniques and procedures . There are an infinite number of ways in which the face can be damaged and thus need some type of reconstruction. Accidents, falls, automobile crashes and cancer surgery are among the most common causes.
There are three main classifications used by health professionals in their trauma assessment:
Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft tissue trauma includes lacerations to the skin and gum tissue.
Avulsed (knocked out) Teeth - Injuries to the teeth are common during facial trauma. Damage to the teeth and supporting tissues should be assed at the earliest convience to minimize the possibility of tooth loss. Dr. Bleeker can asses the damage and advize if you have any nonrestorable or infected teeth that need to be removed as soon as possible. A professional assesment can reduce the possibility of additional damage and start the process of rehabilitation.
Bony Injuries – This category encompasses the facial bones and jawbones. If undiagnosed facial fractures are found the appropriate referral will be made to assure you receive the necessary care.
Reasons for Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Aside from the obvious aesthetic reasons for repairing damage to the face, there are also a number of serious health and dental concerns that can arise from even a small amount of trauma. No facial injury should be taken lightly. Depending on the exact location of the injury, respiration, vision, chewing, speech and swallowing can be greatly impaired.
Failure to treat dental and facial trauma can lead to the following longer term problems:
Loss of Functionality: When teeth have fallen victim to trauma, they may become loose in their sockets and make eating and speaking much more difficult or they may have broken off entirely.
Smile Aesthetics: Chipped, broken or missing teeth can be detrimental to a beautiful smile, eating and speaking.
Bite/Jaw Irregularities: After trauma, it is possible that the teeth will become badly aligned. The poor alignment of the teeth can lead to a loss of chewing function.
What does correcting facial trauma involve
Dr Bleeker will conduct a thorough examination and take various x-rays in order to determine the precise condition of the afflicted area and plan a course of action. Dr. Bleeker works with a variety of specialists in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery to help retore the esthetics and function of the damaged structures. We work with the insurance companies to minimize your out of pocket expenses. If you have suffered a traumatic injury involving the teeth and gums, contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment as soon as possible.
Dr. Bleeker is a member of the craniofacial team at Barrows, St Joseph's Medical Center. Pease contact our office if you would like to be evaluated by the craniofacial team.