Conservative orthodontic fixed appliance management of pediatric mandibular bilateral condylar fracture

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Abstract

Introduction:

Management of mandibular condylar fractures is difficult in children with their inherently dynamic and unstable deciduous and mixed dentitions. We present a variation of the conservative fixed orthodontic approach that was used as an adjunct to aid in the reduction of a bilateral condylar fracture in a pediatric patient.

Methods:

A boy, aged 10 years 9 months, came with clinical signs and symptoms of mandibular fracture after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. A computed tomography scan showed a vertical fracture on the left condylar head, a displaced fracture of the right condylar neck, and a mandibular symphysis fracture. The patient was treated with an orthodontic fixed appliance instead of an arch bar splint, followed by elastic traction to achieve a proper occlusion and condylar remodeling. Follow-up appointments were made 2 weeks and 1, 2, 20, 37, and 49 months after treatment.

Results:

Clinical recovery was observed 2 months after treatment. At the follow-up appointments at 20, 37, and 49 months, jaw function and occlusal relationship remained stable, and no ankylosis was observed. The computed tomography scans showed that the right condyle had remodeled, and the left condyle exhibited a slight curve in the head at 49 months posttreatment. The patient's satisfaction with these treatment results was high.

Conclusions:

Conservative treatment of a mandibular fracture by fixed orthodontic means is a viable treatment option that is relatively straightforward and cost-effective and has a high level of patient acceptance and comfort.

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