Dental injuries happen every day – from something as frustrating as a cracked tooth after biting hard food or from something more serious like a broken jaw due to a car accident. Dr. Matt Dillard of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of the Lowcountry said that he and his associate, Dr. Donald Phillips, have been taking care of traumatic facial injuries for over 15 years. The options available to treat these injuries continue to improve each year as technology develops at a rapid rate. With planning, almost any dental injury can be treated in a straightforward manner.
Other facial injuries, such as lacerations or broken bones, often coincide with dental trauma, which both Dr. Dillard and Dr. Phillips are also very experienced in treating.
That should reassure patients who may need treatment for multiple injuries of the face. Almost all of these injuries are treated on an outpatient basis, usually in one of their convenient office locations in Mount Pleasant on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard; in West Ashley on Ashley Crossing Drive; or in Walterboro off Walter Street. Both of the Charleston-area offices have dental CT scanners so the jaw bones and teeth can be evaluated in three dimensions.
One of the more common injuries is the loss of a tooth. When a tooth is knocked out, it should be rinsed off if it is visibly dirty and replaced in the socket immediately or transported in milk or water to the office. If a tooth is re-implanted within a few hours, it can usually be saved. If the tooth cannot be saved, the ideal way to replace it is with a dental implant. Depending on the condition of the bone where the tooth was lost, the implant can often be placed immediately. A temporary replacement tooth can be made for aesthetics until the final permanent replacement is attached to the implant.
Recovery from the procedures is typically quick and can actually help reduce the discomfort from the original injury.
“Most people are back to their usual routine within a week, with few restrictions,” Dr. Dillard said.
Successful treatment involves an entire team, with the oral surgery staff playing an essential role, along with the patient’s general dentist, who is often directly involved with the treatment. Consistently good results are achievable with reconstructive procedures for trauma.
“I feel as though patients can feel comfortable knowing that we have their best interest at heart, and we will work diligently to get the best result possible,” Dr. Dillard said.
For more information on Dr. Dillard and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of the Lowcountry, visit www.lowcountryoralsurgery.com or call 843-881-3111.