The mandible can be exposed by surgical approaches using incisions placed on the skin of the face. The position of the incision and anatomy vary according to the region of the mandible approached. Because there are almost no anatomic hazards to transfacial exposure of the mandibular symphysis, this approach is not presented. The focus of this section is on the submandibular, retromandibular, and rhytidectomy approaches. All are used to expose the posterior regions of the mandible and all must negotiate important anatomic structures. Approaches to the temporomandibular joint are presented in Section VI.
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