Fractures (broken bones) will result in pain, swelling, facial asymmetry, numbness and loss of function.
A fracture of the jaw (mandible or maxilla) can result in the teeth not fitting together properly, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and difficulty with eating. Fractures of the cheek bones or eye sockets can result in double vision.
Facial bone fractures are often treated under a general anaesthetic. Small titanium plates and screws are used to hold the bones back in their correct position. These plates and screws are placed on to the bones via incisions in the mouth or carefully selected skin creases on the face. It will take the fractures up to three months to heal. For the first six weeks after the operation, your surgeon may instruct you to be on a no-chew, pureed diet. This is because if you chew too soon, the plates may come loose resulting in the fracture not healing properly.
The amount of downtime after reconstructive facial surgery varies depending on the severity of the original injury and the amount of surgery involved. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on how much time to take of work, or school.