Routine diagnosis of alveolar fractures should include an OPG. Periapical
and occlusal dental x-rays can be beneficial.
OPG showing a right body mandibular fracture with an associated alveolar
CT or digital volume tomography (DVT) imaging may be useful to delineate the
The fragment of the alveolar process reaching from the canine to the first
molar is clearly visible.
The oblique course of the fracture line across the inferior border is
In this representative slice from the sagittal series the fractured alveolar
fragment is displayed.
Alveolar process fractures can usually be treated by reduction and fixation
with an arch bar that must be maintained for approximately 6 weeks to provide
time for the fracture to heal.
As an alternative, open reduction and internal fixation may be used in
selected isolated alveolar fractures and mostly in those associated with more
severe mandibular fractures. Sufficient size of the teeth-bearing bone
fragments is required in order to position the miniplates and screws without
damaging the dental roots.
Tooth luxations and fractures are commonly associated. The teeth in the
fracture lines should be carefully assessed clinically and radiographically to
determine the need of extraction. Click
here for further information on treating teeth in the line of fracture.
In this case, it was possible to include the alveolar fragment using a
miniplate plate fixed with monocortically inserted screws located adjacent to
the tooth apices. The mandibular fracture was treated with a large profile
locking plate 2.0 to give enough stability along the inferior mandibular