Extraction and retention of teeth in the line of mandibular fracture: A study of a Western Cape sample
Anecdotal and controversial discussion has.always been prompted by the bias of the clinician in relation to whether teeth in the line of fracture should be extracted or retained. In recent years, it became evident to clinicians serving the Maxi 11ofaci aland Oral Surgery Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, that a tendency towards reta ining teeth in the 1ine of fractu re did not seem to increase the possi bility of infecti on, providing that circumspection was used. A retrospective analysis of these cases was conducted in order to determine the outcome of our treatment. An independent sample of the 151 patients were investigated in relation to age, sex predilection, the effect timing has on the outcome of treatment and the incidence of infection when teeth in the line of mandibular fracture were extracted or retained. The results of this study has shown that most of our patients were young (aged 20-29yrs) and therefore a tendency to retain teeth was found. In older patients, (aged 30-49yrs), the tendency was to extract teeth. Males presented more than females in a 3:1 ratio. Patients treated early « 24hrs) had most of their teeth retained while others treated after 7 days had their teeth extracted. The infecti on rate was 2 percent if teeth were retained and 5 percent if teeth were extracted. A1though the difference was not statistically significant, it appeared that the retenti on of teeth in the 1ine of fracture presented more advantages to both patient and clinician.