The hierarchy of stability and predictability in orthognathic surgery with rigid fixation: an update extension

Author(s): Proffit WR, Turvey TA, Phillips C


A hierarchy of stability exists among the types of surgical movements that are possible with orthognathic surgery. This report updates the hierarchy, focusing on comparison of the stability of procedures when rigid fixation is used. Two procedures not previously placed in the hierarchy now are included: correction of asymmetry is stable with rigid fixation and repositioning of the chin also is very stable. During the first post-surgical year, surgical movements in patients treated for Class II/long face problems tend to be more stable than those treated for Class III problems. Clinically relevant changes (more than 2 mm) occur in a surprisingly large percentage of orthognathic surgery patients from one to five years post-treatment, after surgical healing is complete. During the first post-surgical year, patients treated for Class II/long face problems are more stable than those treated for Class III problems; from one to five years post-treatment, some patients in both groups experience skeletal change, but the Class III patients then are more stable than the Class II/long face patients. Fewer patients exhibit long-term changes in the dental occlusion than skeletal changes, because the dentition usually adapts to the skeletal change.

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