Fracture of the jaw is often surgically treated. The jaw is placed in the correct position and held there by the use of titanium plates and screws. As part of this treatment, archbars are sometimes wired onto the teeth of the upper and lower jaw and small rubber bands (elastics) are attached between the archbars to ensure that your jaws are properly aligned while healing.
It is important to avoid excessive movement of the chewing muscles, as extreme mouth opening can dislocate the fracture. You should not actively try to open your mouth widely.
It is important to keep your mouth clean to avoid infection. Your teeth should be brushed 3 times a day and your mouth should be cleaned by rinsing with Chlorhexdidine 0.12% 3 times a day. This kills the oral bacteria and prevents infection. After rinsing with Chlorhexidine, you should wait 1 hour before eating or brushing your teeth.
How to brush your teeth after surgery
- Brush your teeth 3 times a day with toothpaste. After brushing your teeth wait 1 hour before your rinse. You have to wait because toothpaste destroys the effectiveness of Chlorhexidine.
- Brush your teeth with at small soft-bristled toothbrush. If you have arch-bars and wires on your teeth you have to be extra careful. Use a solo (single) toothbrush to clean along the gum line and around the fixation device.
- Stand in front of a mirror when brushing your teeth and make sure to have a good lighting.
- With you index finger, pull the corner of the mouth aside to see the teeth properly.
- Make sure you brush all your teeth. Do it systematically. Don't forget the back of your teeth. It is important that all plaque is removed.
- After toothbrushing, wait 1 hour then rinse with Chlorhexidine 0.12% for 1 minute. Again wait for 1 hour before eating or drinking.
For 6 weeks after surgery, your diet must be restricted to soft foods. A nutritious diet is important for proper healing and to avoid weight loss.
Besides the jaw fracture, there might be tooth injuries. Tooth extraction or root canal treatment might be necessary if the line of jaw fracture is located near or through a tooth. Tooth injuries are temporarily treated here in the department, but the final treatment has to be completed in private practice. Dental injuries should be reported to you insurance company.
Sick leave is often not necessary except in professions that are physically demanding. Sports and physical exertion should be avoided for 6 weeks after surgery.
Follow-up is usually conducted once a week. X-rays are taken when necessary, to determine if the fracture site is positioned properly. If used, the arch bars and wires are typically removed 4-6 weekes after surgery. Retraining of your jaws will be explained. Your private dentist will receive a discharge letter explaining the diagnosis and treatment. Recommendations for further treatment are sometimes included.
Be sure to report you injuries to your insurance company. A claim report shoud be sent to The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for at description of the injury.
It is important that a police report is taken if the incident could involve a possible later court case (assault, traffic accident, etc.). The Departmen of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery will formulate a medical report concerning cause and consequences after the incident.
Contact and more information
Please contact us if you have any questions.
The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Tel: 97 66 27 95