Patient Education: Maxillomandibular Fixation

Print PDF
Clinic Name
Clinic Address
Clinic Phone Number
Clinic Email

Patient Education: Maxillomandibular Fixation (MMF)

Maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) is a procedure used to immobilize the upper and lower jaws together, often following maxillofacial surgery or to stabilize fractures of the jaw. Here's what you need to know about MMF:

Why MMF is Done:

  • Stabilization: MMF is used to stabilize the jaw following surgery or trauma, allowing bones to heal properly.
  • Alignment: It helps in aligning the jaws correctly, especially after corrective jaw surgery or fractures.
  • Immobilization: MMF immobilizes the jaws, preventing movement that could disrupt healing or cause further injury.
  • Pain Management: By limiting jaw movement, MMF can help reduce pain associated with jaw fractures or surgery.

How MMF is Done:

  • Wiring: Metal wires or bands are used to secure the upper and lower jaws together, often with the teeth in a specific alignment.
  • Surgical Technique: MMF may be performed under general anesthesia in the operating room, where wires or bands are placed around the teeth or bone to hold the jaws in position.
  • Duration: MMF may be temporary or permanent, depending on the reason for fixation and the type of injury or surgery.

What to Expect:

  • Limited Mouth Opening: MMF restricts the ability to open the mouth fully, making it difficult to speak, eat, and perform oral hygiene tasks.
  • Liquid Diet: You may need to follow a liquid or soft diet during MMF to ensure adequate nutrition and prevent discomfort.
  • Difficulty Speaking: Speaking may be challenging with the jaws wired shut. Communication strategies such as writing or using non-verbal cues may be necessary.
  • Follow-up Care: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor healing, adjust the wires if necessary, and ensure proper nutrition and oral hygiene.

Self-care Tips During MMF:

  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene by gently brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth with a saline solution or mouthwash as instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Nutrition: Consume nutritious, soft foods and liquids to meet your dietary needs while the jaws are immobilized. Avoid hard or crunchy foods that could dislodge the wires.
  • Pain Management: Take prescribed pain medications as directed by your doctor to manage discomfort during the healing process.
  • Emotional Support: Seek support from family, friends, or support groups to cope with the challenges of MMF, both physically and emotionally.

When to Seek Help:

  • Difficulty Breathing: If you experience difficulty breathing or signs of respiratory distress, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Unusual Pain: If you experience severe or increasing pain, swelling, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms, contact your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Wire Dislodgement: If the wires or bands become loose or dislodged, contact your healthcare provider for evaluation and possible repair.

Remember, while MMF can be challenging, it plays a crucial role in facilitating proper healing and alignment of the jaws. Your healthcare team is there to support you throughout the process and address any concerns or questions you may have.