Fractures of the bones of the face are treated in a manner similar to the fractures in other parts of the body. When an arm or a leg is fractured, a "cast" is often applied to stabilize the bone and allow for proper healing. Since a cast cannot be placed on the face, other means have been developed to stabilize facial fractures.
One of these options involves wiring the jaws together for certain fractures of the upper and/or lower jaw. However, certain other types of fractures of the jaw are best treated and stabilized by the surgical placement of small "plates and screws" at the involved site. This technique of treatment can often allow for healing and obviates the necessity of having the jaws wired together. This technique is called the "rigid fixation" of a fracture. The relatively recent development and use of "rigid fixation" has profoundly improved the recovery period for many patients by allowing them to return to normal function more quickly.
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