Facial Trauma in Salt Lake City, Utah


Nasal fractures are particularly common and an injury that both Drs. Henstrom, Thompson, and Manning are often called upon to manage. Ideally, facial fractures are treated within one to two weeks, but sometimes, more involved surgical procedures are required when displaced bones have been allowed to heal.

Facial fractures and/or facial lacerations are commonly suffered during motor vehicle accidents, fights, domestic violence, athletic events, animal bites, etc. Facial trauma frequently involves the jawbone, cheekbone, eye socket, and/or brow and requires realignment of the bone segments and fixation for proper healing. Facial lacerations can cause scarring, facial nerve damage, salivary duct transection, tear duct injury, or even loss of a particular body part. It’s important to seek immediate medical care in any of these situations.

If surgery is necessary, a detailed plan and patient instructions will be established with one of our surgeons in the office prior to surgery and scheduled at an appropriate time for optimal repair.

Types of Facial Trauma

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries can include lacerations, contusions, scrapes, avulsions, and blood clots. Lacerations are cuts along the skin that can be caused by sharp objects or blunt force trauma. These can be easily treated by cleaning the wound and closing it with sutures. However, if the bleeding does not stop after ten or more minutes or the cartilage is exposed, seek out emergency medical care immediately.

Contusions, or bruises, occur when the blood vessels beneath the skin are ruptured, which can lead to discoloration and swelling. These can be treated with pain medication and applying ice packs. Scrapes occur when a person’s skin is rubbed too hard against a rough exterior.

Avulsions occur when the skin or soft tissue is torn off the underlying structure. If an avulsion is severe enough, surgical intervention may be required. Blood clots, or hematomas, are when blood collects beneath the skin or within the soft tissues. These can be caused by trauma, and treatment will vary depending on the severity.

Bone Fractures

Bone fractures occur when a designated bone in the facial region is broken or severely damaged.

These fractures can include the following:

  • Broken nose
  • Broken cheekbones
  • Broken jaw
  • Broken eye socket

Dental Injuries

Dental injuries occur when the teeth or the surrounding structures are damaged.

Dental injuries can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Tooth fractures, such as enamel damage and dentin fractures.
  • Tooth displacement, such as loose or missing teeth.
  • Gum injuries, such as lacerations, hematomas, or bruises in the gums.
  • Dental restoration injuries, such as damaged bridges, broken crowns, or damaged fillings.
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as lacerations on the tongue or abrasions in the cheeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Dental Injuries Treated?

Dental injuries can be treated in a myriad of ways. The type of treatment needed depends on what the injury is. For example, if your enamel is fractured, dental bonding or enamel restoration may be performed. If the root of your tooth is damaged, root canal therapy may be required depending on the severity. One of our qualified professionals will assess both the nature and severity of your facial trauma to determine which treatment is best for you.

What Causes Facial Trauma?

Facial trauma can be caused by a wide variety of factors. 

These causes include the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip and falls
  • Physical assaults
  • Sports injuries
  • Accidents in the workplace

Can Facial Trauma Cause Long-Term Complications?

Yes, it is possible for facial trauma to cause long-term complications. However, it will depend on the cause and severity of the trauma.

Below is a list of potential long-term complications of facial trauma:

  • Facial deformities
  • Chronic pain
  • Problems with chewing or speaking
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Psychological distress
  • Changes in your vision

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

Recovery varies from patient to patient as it depends on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the treatment. Factors such as age and your current health are also taken into consideration.

Contact Us Today!

Interested in getting treatment for facial trauma in Salt Lake City, Draper, Layton, Utah, and the surrounding areas? Contact Utah Facial Plastics for more information or to schedule an appointment; call 801.960.3137 or fill out our contact form.

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