Facial Trauma

Not only can facial trauma affect complex areas that are critical to vision, breathing, speaking and swallowing functions, but the way facial injuries heal can deeply affect a patient’s appearance and sense of self. ​

Dr McHugh uses state-of-the-art technology and the most advanced treatment techniques in order to ensure the long-term health and functionality of your facial structures.

As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with both medical and dental degrees, Dr McHugh is uniquely qualified to treat a broad range of injuries to the teeth, mouth, jaw and key facial structures, such as the eyes, nose and cheeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dr McHugh has a wealth of experience treating a full range of traumatic facial injuries, from the simplest laceration to the most complex fractures. Dr McHugh can treat soft tissue injuries to the skin and gums, bone injuries, and trauma to specialised areas of the face, including the eyes, nerves and salivary glands.

Injuries that we treat include:

– Facial lacerations
– Mouth lacerations
– Broken and knocked-out teeth
– Facial bone fractures
– Broken nose
– Fractures to cheekbones and eye sockets
– Fractured jaws

A facial laceration, or tear in the skin of the face, must be repaired carefully to preserve functionality of surrounding facial structures.

Dr McHugh will repair the laceration with sutures, taking care to make sure soft tissue injuries are not affecting important structures such as facial nerves, salivary glands or salivary ducts.

Facial bone injuries must be treated promptly to ensure proper healing as well as to repair and prevent further damage to important facial structures that can affect vision, breathing, speaking and swallowing.

As with other bone injuries, the first step is to align and stabilise the bones so that they can heal properly. While a cast works well to stabilise an arm or leg bone, casts cannot be used to stabilise broken facial bones.

Depending on the location and severity of the injuries, Dr McHugh may use a series of small plates, screws and wires to hold facial bones in place. Dr. McHugh takes care to use the fewest incisions possible when repairing facial trauma.

Treatment of a broken jaw will depend on the severity and location of the injury. While some injuries may be treated by wiring jaws together in order to stabilize the bones, in many cases Dr McHugh can use a sophisticated “rigid fixation” technique that allows patients to be more comfortable and return to normal more quickly.

With rigid fixation, Dr McHugh places small plates and screws to hold the jaw in place, without having to wire the jaws together.

Injuries to the teeth are very common and might require the expertise of various dental specialists.

For example, orthodontists can perform root canal, while restorative dentists can help rebuild or replace broken teeth.

Dr McHugh treats fractures to supporting bone structures of the teeth, replants teeth that have been knocked out, and places dental implants that can serve as an anchor for artificial replacement teeth.

When a permanent tooth is knocked out of your mouth, it may be possible to save the tooth and replant it in the mouth if action is taken quickly. The sooner you see an oral surgeon, the greater chance of success for a replanted tooth. When a tooth is knocked out, the following steps should be taken:

– Pick up the tooth by the crown, without touching the roots
– Place the tooth in salt water or milk to transport it
– Do NOT touch the roots or wipe any dirt off the tooth. Wiping the tooth may dislodge important ligament structures that are key to replanting the tooth

– Call our Penrith clinic as quickly as possible on 02 4721 8838

If you are in an emergency situation, you should go to the nearest hospital or call 000 for help.

Once your injuries have been stabilised, you should contact our Penrith clinic as soon as possible on 02 4721 8838.

If you call after office hours, our answering service will provide details of how to contact Dr McHugh.

Dr John McHugh plastic surgeon
About Dr McHugh

Dr John McHugh is Australia's only surgeon qualified in both Maxillofacial and Cosmetic surgery.

His dual specialisations enable him to deliver excellence in surgical results, with an eye for aesthetic beauty.

With over 20 years of experience as a surgeon in the private sector and performing international aid work as a Surgeon Commander with the Royal Australian Navy, you can have confidence that Dr McHugh is uniquely qualified and trusted to deliver the results you seek.