Lesson

Injury mechanism

Dental and facial injuries typically occur as a result of a direct blow to the face by an opponent, a piece of equipment or even impact with the field of play (for example the ground or the goalposts). They generally involve a high-energy mechanism. As a guideline, lower impact collisions (elbow to the face) often result in tooth avulsion, while higher energy impacts (boot to the face) will usually fracture teeth. It is important to consider whether the athlete may have any other associated injuries. Concussion and cervical spine injuries should be considered. If there is any doubt the athlete should be assumed to have a cervical spine injury and be managed appropriately.

Click on the following image to view an example of a facial injury which occurred in Australia’s A-League competition.

Note the direct blow to the face of Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti. This resulted in a significant facial injury.