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Case Reports in Dentistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 659756, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/659756
Case Report

Mandibular Fracture in a Child Resulting from a Dog Attack: A Case Report

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton NN1 5BD, UK

Received 2 June 2011; Accepted 30 June 2011

Academic Editors: Wasiu L. Adeyemo, Anwar Barakat Bataineh, and Chung How Kau

Copyright © 2011 Hannah Cottom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Dog attacks are extremely frequent and are thought to be responsible for an average of 250,000 minor injuries and emergency unit attendances each year. Children in particular are more likely to experience dog-bite injuries with 5–9-year olds most susceptible. The majority of injuries are to the head region, with the lips, cheeks, and nose often affected. Most injuries experienced are confined to the soft tissues; nevertheless, maxillofacial fracture is a potential albeit rare complication. The incidence of facial fractures in relation to dog bites is unknown; however, some have estimated that facial fractures could occur in 5% of dog attacks. However mandibular fracture following a dog bite is extremely rare, with review of the literature only identifying three cases. We present a further case in which a five-year-old sustained numerous soft-tissue lacerations to the face and hand, together with fracture of the mandibular symphysis following a dog attack. The fracture was successfully repaired using open reduction and internal fixation with titanium plates and screws. The case emphasises that although maxillofacial fracture is rare, it may occur following a dog bite and that thorough and systematic examination of the facial skeleton is crucial to exclude the presence of such injuries.