The pediatric mandible: II. Management of traumatic injury or fracture

James M. Smartt, David W. Low, Scott P. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Background: Fractures of the pediatric mandible are complicated by the anatomic complexity of the developing mandible, particularly by the presence of tooth buds and the eruption of deciduous and permanent teeth. Traditional methods of fracture reduction and fixation employed in adults have little applicability in the pediatric population. Methods: The authors describe the surgical techniques that have been used at their institution and those that can be used safely in the pediatric setting. Results: In most cases, "conservative" management is the preferred option, especially in the treatment of condylar fractures. In cases requiring surgical intervention, interdental wiring, drop wires in combination with circummandibular wires, and acrylic splints are suited well to specific phases of dental maturation. Conclusion: Open reduction and internal fixation using monocortical screws and microplates or resorbable plates and screws are acceptable techniques in the pediatric patient, but they require special safeguards. Algorithms are presented to simplify management of these complicated injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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