The effects of mandibular immobilization on the masticatory system. A review

E. Ellis, D. S. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


It is clear from this review that mandibular immobilization is not as benign a procedure as once thought. Detrimental effects on several tissues within the masticatory apparatus have been observed following mandibular immobilization. Atrophy of the muscles of mastication, degenerative changes within the mandibular condyle, and decreases in range of passive bite opening are all consistent findings following several weeks of mandibular immobilization. The use of fixation procedures which avoid the use of mandibular immobilization (i.e., rigid internal fixation) has been shown to minimize these problems. As with any procedure, however, the risks and benefits of rigid internal fixation must be weighed against the time-honored standard (i.e., maxillomandibular fixation). It is hoped that future research and clinical experience will direct the surgeon to select whichever technique is in the best interest of the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-146
Number of pages14
JournalClinics in Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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