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Management of Pediatric Mandible Fractures

Goth, Stephen DMD*†; Sawatari, Yoh DDS; Peleg, Michael DMD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: January 2012 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 47–56
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0b013e318240c8ab
Original Articles

The pediatric mandible fracture is a rare occurrence when compared with the number of mandible fractures that occur within the adult population. Although the clinician who manages facial fractures may never encounter a pediatric mandible fracture, it is a unique injury that warrants a comprehensive discussion. Because of the unique anatomy, dentition, and growth of the pediatric patient, the management of a pediatric mandible fracture requires true diligence with a variance in treatment ranging from soft diet to open reduction and internal fixation. In addition to the variability in treatment, any trauma to the face of a child requires additional management factors including child abuse issues and long-term sequelae involving skeletal growth, which may affect facial symmetry and occlusion. The following is a review of the incidence, relevant anatomy, clinical and radiographic examination, and treatment modalities for specific fracture types of the pediatric mandible based on the clinical experience at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery program. In addition, a review of the literature regarding the management of the pediatric mandible fracture was performed to offer a more comprehensive overview of this unique subset of facial fractures.

From *Jackson Memorial Hospital and the †Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.

Received February 24, 2011.

Accepted for publication April 3, 2011.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Yoh Sawatari, DDS, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Miami, Deering Medical Plaza, 9380 SW 150th St, Suite 170, Miami, FL; E-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 Mutaz B. Habal, MD