Fractured Lower Jaw (Mandible)
The mandible may also be referred to as the ‘lower jaw’.
Mandibular fractures are common and usually result in pain, swelling, limited movement and a change in occlusion (or ‘bite’). On some occasions, teeth may be dislodged as a result of a mandibular fracture. Some people may also experience a change in sensation (feeling) over their lower lip or chin as a result of a mandibular fracture.
Most mandibular fractures will require admission to hospital and surgery to align the fractured bone which is then held in position by plates and screws or wires. The goal of the surgery is to re-establish the dental occlusion and return the alignment of the bone to that which existed prior to the break occurring.
During the operation your teeth will be held together in their correct bite. This may involve the placement of screws between your teeth to allow wire fixation, or wiring a metal band, called an Arch Bar, around the maxillary and mandibular teeth to allow wiring of the jaws together. Most mandibular fractures can be treated without the requirement for your jaws to be wired together after surgery, although elastic bands, similar to those used by Orthodontists, may be used over the healing period to ensure your bite remains in the correct position.