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maxillofacial trauma

Dr. Huynh is well trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat maxillofacial injuries. Dr. Huynh amassed broad experience during his surgical training in the Bronx , NY, where maxillofacial trauma cases were numerous. His skills were further honed during his service in the Army. Dr. Huynh treated extensive maxillofacial injuries sustained by our servicemen during their training at Fort Irwin and during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Dr. Huynh treats a wide-range of injuries including:

Whatever the cause of facial trauma, optimal outcome is achieved when surgical care is focused on restoring both function and appearance. Surgical results around the maxillofacial region are unique in that success is judged both on esthetic, as well as, function. Dr. Huynh takes great pride in treating maxillofacial injuries to yield the best cosmetic results possible, while restoring optimal function. 

Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
If an adult tooth is "knocked out", it should be handled only by the crown (top of the tooth), and placed immediately in cold salt water or cold milk. Do not allow the tooth to dry out. The sooner the tooth is re-inserted, the better 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 specialized cells on the surface of the root responsible for attachment of the tooth to bone could be damaged. 

Your dentist or oral surgeon will prepare the tooth for implantation. The tooth may require root canal therapy before being implanted. Therapy will involve wiring teeth together (splinting) or gluing (bonding) the avulsed tooth to adjacent stable teeth.

In the event that injured teeth cannot be saved or repaired, dental implants are often now utilized as replacements for missing teeth.

What about avulsed baby teeth? Those can be placed under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy.

Fractured facial bones and jaws
Fractures of the bones of the face are treated in a manner similar to the fractures in other parts of the body. When an arm or a leg is fractured, a "cast" is often applied to stabilize the bone and allow for proper healing. Since a cast cannot be placed on the face, other means have been developed to stabilize facial fractures.

Injuries to the jaw bone can result in isolated jaw fractures, dentoalveolar (bone and teeth) fractures, and/or avulsed (knocked out) teeth. A non-surgical option involves wiring teeth together, which prevents movement of the jaw bone and teeth, to allow for healing.

However, more displaced fractures of the jaw are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small titanium "plates and screws" at the fractured site. This technique of treatment, called "rigid fixation" of a fracture, allows for healing and can circumvent the need to have the jaws wired together. The development and use of "rigid fixation" has profoundly improved the recovery period for many patients by allowing them to return to normal function more quickly.

Access to the fractured bones can be made within the mouth and/or outside on the face. An attempt at accessing the facial bones through the fewest incisions necessary is always made. Dr. Huynh utilizes incisions used in plastic surgery to access the facial bones. These incisions, when necessary, are designed to be small and discreet, whenever possible, to minimize resultant scarring.

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