Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMSs) are experts in treating and repairing facial injury and trauma, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws and the orbits surrounding the eyes, and facial lacerations. Their knowledge of how jaws come together (dental occlusion) is critical when repairing complex facial fractures.
The American College of Surgeons' guidelines for optimal care in Level I and II trauma centers, the centers that treat the most serious and complex facial trauma patients, recommend that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon be included as a member of the centers' trauma team.
Many of the techniques that are standard in today's hospital emergency rooms were developed by OMSs in combat hospitals during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and today's international conflicts.
If you or a loved one suffer a facial or mouth injury that requires a trip to the emergency room, be sure to ask that an OMS is called for consultation. With their background and training, OMSs are the specialists most qualified to deal with these types of injuries. In some cases, they may even detect a “hidden” injury that might otherwise go unnoticed.