Arch Bar & Wire Removal

If you’ve experienced facial trauma and have a broken upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible) or both, an oral surgeon will help restore your bite and return your jaw to normal function. While the type of fracture you have will dictate the exact treatment, your jaw will usually be wired shut to provide stability until the fracture heals.

What to Expect From Arch Bars and Wires

Arch bars and wires are used to hold the jaws in places while healing occurs. Arch bars are secured to your teeth using wires. Since you can’t open your mouth, you’ll have to stay on a liquid diet for the duration of your treatment. We can help you find recipes and provide ideas for foods you can eat while your jaw is wired. Just contact our Lakeland, Florida dental office for assistance.

If sharp wires irritate your lips or cheeks, a small amount of wax can help reduce discomfort. We can supply you with a supply of wax if needed. Also, if a wire breaks or becomes loose, please contact our office so we can replace or adjust the wires.

As long as the fracture remains stable, the arch bars and wires will be removed after approximately seven weeks. The procedure is conducted in our office while you’re sedated and have received a local anesthetic to numb the area where the bars and wires are located. Then, an x-ray will be taken to ensure all the wires have been removed.

Other important things to know following arch bar and wire removal:

  • After the arch bars and wires have been removed, you may experience some pain in your gum tissue. That’s because the wires tend to irritate your gums and allow food and bacteria to accumulate. An over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol will help lessen discomfort until the inflammation decreases.
  • You may notice some bleeding from the irritate gums when you brush your teeth. Don’t let this dissuade you from oral care. It’s vital to brush and floss normally to remove plaque and bacteria that’s built up during treatment.
  • Since plaque and bacteria have collected on your gums while you wore the arch bar and wire, you need to have your teeth professionally cleaned by your general dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, your teeth or gums could become infected and/or decay can occur. If you need a referral for a general dentist, we’re happy to provide you with a list of excellent providers in the Lakeland area.
  • If you experience an increase in pain or swelling in the areas that were fractured or if you begin having difficult moving your jaw or have pain while eating, you should contact our office immediately.