PURPOSE: The use of a 2.0-mm locking plate system was evaluated in mandibular surgery. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 53 patients (42 male, 11 female) with a total of 56 mandibular fractures were treated with a 2.0-mm mini-locking-plate system and retrospectively examined. Gender, age, cause of fracture, surgical access, classification of fractures, osteosynthesis, postsurgical findings and complications were evaluated. RESULTS: Assault
in male patients (mean age 31) was the most common aetiological factor. Fractures in women (mean age 43 years) mostly occurred due to falls. Mandibular angle fractures were the most common and this anatomical site also presented the highest complication rate. Only 6% of patients had minor occlusal disturbance postoperatively,
and minor complications (infections and dehiscence) occurred in 14%of patients in this study. Major complications only occurred in one patient included in the study (1.9%). Risk factors for the development of complications in this series were a history of alcohol or tobacco use, mandibular angle fractures, associated facial
fractures, presurgical occlusal disturbance and concomitant dental infections. Surgical access to the fracture and the interval from injury to surgery was not associated with the development of complications. CONCLUSIONS: The use of a 2.0-mm locking plate system with its advantages of improved handling characteristics, increased stability, shorter surgical time and the preservation of bony perfusion is a viable alternative to conventional miniplates in the
management of mandibular fractures.