, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 7-24
Date: 27 Oct 2012

Teeth in the line of mandibular fractures

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This study aims to review the literature regarding the evolution of current thoughts on the management of teeth in the line of mandibular fractures (MFs).


An electronic search in PubMed was undertaken in June 2012. The titles and abstracts from these results were read to identify studies within the selection criteria—studies reporting clinical series of MFs in which the management of teeth in the fracture line was analyzed.


The search strategy initially yielded 731 references. Twenty-seven studies were identified without repetition within the selection criteria. Additional hand searching yielded 12 additional papers.


It is suggested that rigid fixation systems and the use of antimicrobial agents have reduced the incidence of infection in cases of teeth in the line of MFs. Tooth buds in the line of MFs should not be removed or replaced in the (alleged) proper position despite the degree of displacement, since studies showed that even tooth buds in the early stage of calcification and those involved in widely displaced fracture sites continued development and erupted. Its removal should be considered in cases of infection, which is a predictive factor of abnormality and/or impaction. Intact teeth in the fracture line should be left in situ if they show no evidence of severe loosening or inflammatory change. Permanent teeth maintained in the line of fracture should be followed up clinically and radiographically for at least 1 year to ensure that any unnecessary endodontic treatment is avoided. Teeth in the line of fracture that prevents reduction of fractures, teeth with fractured roots, a partially impacted wisdom tooth with pericoronitis, and a tooth with extensive periapical lesion should be removed. Teeth in the line of MFs should also be removed when located in sites where there is extensive periodontal damage, with broken alveolar walls, resulting in the formation of a deep pocket (making optimal healing doubtful).