- Is there enough evidence to regularly apply bone screws for intermaxillary fixation in mandibular fractures?
- Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Volume | Issue number
- 73 | 10
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Intermaxillary fixation (IMF) is traditionally achieved with arch bars; however, this method has several well-known disadvantages and other techniques, such as bone screws, are available. This study evaluated current evidence regarding these IMF screws (IMFSs) for mandibular trauma and to assess whether this allows a change of treatment protocol for IMF.
Materials and Methods
A systematic electronic literature search was conducted in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases. Titles and abstracts retrieved from the search were screened and evaluated for inclusion and exclusion criteria. The full text of all relevant articles was read and citation lists were checked for any missing references. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were subjected to a quality assessment. Included articles were checked for outcome measurements concerning occlusion, operative time, oral hygiene, root trauma, wire-stick injuries, and mucosa overgrowth.
Twenty-two articles (17 case series, 4 RCTs, and 1 cohort study) were included. None of the RCTs scored high methodologic results in the quality assessment. The results suggest IMFSs have similar malocclusion rates as arch bars, fewer wire-stick injuries, improved oral hygiene, and shorter operative time. Root damage is less likely to occur with self-drilling screws and seldom requires treatment.
Although the methodologic quality of the included studies is poor, self-drilling IMFSs are recommended for temporary per-operative IMF of noncomminuted mandibular fractures. More high-quality studies are required to allow an evidence-based change of protocol.
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