Pediatric Oral and Maxillofacial Trauma
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Maxillofacial trauma refers to any injury to the face or jaw caused by physical force, the presence of foreign objects, animal or human bites, or burns. Our fast paced world of ultra sports and increasing violence puts children at risk for facial injury. In childhood, a generally impetuous nature and adventurous spirit combine to encourage participation in physical activities with a little thought for the immediate consequences. But, children’s facial injuries require special attention, because not only the tissues, bone or teeth may be involved, but also the child’s entire self-image. Treatment modalities in children as compared to adults are somewhat different owing to the needs of the growing facial skeleton. First, the pediatric patient has the advantage of an accelerated ability to heal. Second, through growth and inherent ability of the child to adapt, recovery of damaged oro-facial tissues can be maximized and loss of function can be minimized. Despite these advantages, certain characteristics of the pediatric facial trauma such as difficulty to examine the child both clinically and radiologically, growth process and elasticity of bone and anatomy of the immature face.