Patient Treated for Severe Oral Injury

dental tools resting on tray

At Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, our seasoned staff of experts treats many patients with complex needs, tapping into knowledge they’ve gained as faculty members at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. That bank of experience was life-changing for Samuel Nyamwange, who was shot in the face and required complicated oral corrective surgery. Here’s a look at how we helped him navigate his options for care, providing him with the relief he deserved.

What Happened?

One night at his job as a parking attendant, Nyamwange was caught in the crossfire of an armed robbery. A bullet struck him directly in the mouth. His jaw and teeth were shattered, and the roof of his mouth was destroyed. As a result, he also couldn’t eat or speak and developed chronic facial pain.

How He Found Us

As a trauma patient in need of expert care, Nyamwange was referred to Rutgers Health University Dental Associates in Newark. Since we partner with the Neuroscience Institute of New Jersey and Department of Pain Management, as well as University Hospital in Newark, Nyamwange felt assured that an extremely complex case like his would receive the highest quality of care.

As a part of Rutgers Health, the most comprehensive academic health care provider in New Jersey, we are proud to offer oral services from faculty at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, who treat patients like Nyamwange directly instead of overseeing student providers. This allows us to handle some of the most complex cases in New Jersey and provide patients with relief.

Course of Action

Nyamwange’s treatment plan involved multiple surgeries due to the severity of his injuries. The plan was the result of collaboration between three doctors on our staff and an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Utilizing the most advanced equipment available, the group of experts completed Nyamwange’s first phase of treatment – the repair of his facial fractures and the reconstruction of damaged tissue from the bullet wounds.

Next, our maxillofacial prosthodontist and the ENT began to create dental implants from bone in Nyamwange’s leg to reconstruct the roof of his mouth. Meanwhile, a prosthetic jaw joint allowed him to open and close his mouth again, while our team created a pair of dentures and temporary obturator prosthesis for the roof of his mouth so he could return to eating and drinking. For Nyamwange’s last procedures, the dental implants and roof of his mouth were put into place.

However, Nyamwange was still experiencing a lot of orofacial pain. Providers discovered that his headaches, nasal congestion, watery eyes and other painful side effects were caused by a rare form of nerve damage he sustained during the shooting. Nyamwange was prescribed a medication that provided relief and stopped the pain from disrupting his life any further.

The Results

It’s now been nearly three years since his injury, and thanks to the team of physicians at Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, Nyamwange feels like he’s back to normal. He’s eating and drinking without any issues, speaking without difficulty and no longer experiences bouts of chronic pain from his nerve damage. Nyamwange’s story is the perfect example of how receiving direct care from expert faculty members of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine can have a powerful impact. For more information on our services, contact our Newark or New Brunswick locations today.