Practical relevance: Feline head trauma injuries are common in general practice, often resulting in mandibular fracture. An understanding of the recent advances in the field of mandibular fracture repair will facilitate evidence-based decision-making in clinical practice.
Clinical challenges: Feline maxillofacial and oral anatomy brings unique challenges in comparison with dogs. It has been commonplace to adapt techniques and equipment that are better suited to other body regions or are species-inappropriate for use in feline maxillofacial surgery, and this has traditionally resulted in high morbidity.
Aims: This review presents an overview of the diagnosis of, and decison-making for, maxillofacial trauma in cats, specifically with reference to the feline mandible. The challenges associated with the management of these injuries are presented. Techniques for repair that can be employed in general practice, as well as more advanced surgical options, are discussed, as well as the indications for invasive vs non-invasive management. Underutilised methods involving composite dental materials and their versatility for the repair of mandibular fractures in cats, and miniplates for caudal mandibular fractures in cats, are specifically covered, as well as other recent advances in the field, including three-dimensional printing and custom-printed implants.
Evidence base: Management of feline facial fractures is an often neglected topic, with very few published studies choosing to focus on head trauma outcomes in cats. Where available, however, this review draws on the published literature, as well as the authors' own clinical experience.
Keywords: MMF; Mandibular fracture; composites; dental occlusion; dentoalveolar injury; intraoral splint; mandibular symphyseal separation; maxilllomandibular fixation; maxillofacial trauma; miniplates.