Intermaxillary Fixation Device

Categories: "Medical & Research Devices"

Reference #: 2007-013

OTC Contact: Steven Yu, M.D., J.D. (Directory Information | Send a Message)

Description

Fractures in lower and upper jaw, as well as surgical intervention to correct abnormalities, require re-alignment of the jaws as well as passive fixation of the teeth. Oral surgeons, plastic surgeons, and otolaryngologists routinely wire the jaws together (intermaxillary fixation) to maintain correct positioning of the jaws and teeth during the healing period. The use of dental arch bars and intermaxillary fixation screws are the two primary methods for achieving intermaxillary fixation. However, attachment of arch bars to the patient consumes valuable operating room time, and requires circumdental wires. The circumdental wires can penetrate the gum papilla resulting in inflammation, discomfort, and gingivitis for the patient. In addition, the surgeon risks skin penetration when handling and manipulating the circumdental wires. Intermaxillary fixation screws, which are screwed directly into the bone and linked by loops of wire, do not stabilize the fractured segments as well as arch bars because there are few points of maxillomandibular fixation.

Applications

A prominent surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital has developed a novel medical device that increases the speed as well as reduces the risk of puncture wounds when applying intermaxillary fixation in maxillofacial surgery. The invention can be used to establish occlusion rapidly in maxillofacial trauma, orthognathic surgery, or other facial reconstructive procedures when the jaws need to be wired together.

Advantages

  • The device could reduce the operating room time required for establishing intermaxillary fixation by as much as 50%.
  • The device greatly reduces the risk of skin puncture for both the surgeon and the patient.
  • The device and technique does not depend on the condition of the teeth for establishing occlusion.
  • The device will stabilize the fractured segments as well as traditional arch bars.

Stage of Development

A prototype device has been developed and tested on human cadavers.

Relevant Publications

No references or resources available.

Patent Status

U.S. Provisional Patent Application filed.