Jaw Facture Repair
Jaw fractures are a very common result of facial trauma. Fractures can involve the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible) or both. The goals of treatment are to provide for the formation of a solid union between the bone fragments, reestablish as normal a bite as possible and return the jaw to as normal function (chewing, etc.) as possible. Some fractures can be treated simply by wiring the jaws closed until the fractures have healed. Other fractures must be surgically exposed through incisions in the mouth, on the face or both. After exposure of the fracture(s), the bone fragments are manipulated into a satisfactory alignment and then secured with bone plates and screws. Uncomplicated jaw fractures generally heal in 4-6 weeks.
After an adequate period of healing, the wires holding the jaws closed are removed and the jaws are examined to determine if any mobility exists between the bone fragments. If the jaws are not completely healed, the wires holding the jaws closed will be replaced until satisfactory healing occurs. If the fractures are stable, jaw opening exercises are started at this time. Depending on the nature of your fractures you may be instructed to wear small elastics between your maxilla and mandible. At the end of this period if the fractures remain stable and the bite is stable, the arch bars are removed. Removal of the arch bars is usually performed in the office with local anesthesia and intravenous conscious sedation approximately 7 weeks following treatment of the fracture(s).