This prospective questionnaire-based study was designed to determine the incidence of patients attending orthognathic combined clinics who have previously had orthodontic treatment, and to assess the impact, if any, this has had on their proposed surgical treatment. Contemporaneous and historical data from consecutive patients at different stages of treatment who were attending clinics at two London hospitals during a three-month period were included. In total 22/56 patients (39%) had previously had orthodontic treatment, and of those, it had had an undesirable effect on the current management of 10 (45%). The effects included a reduced range of dental movements available to orthodontists (8/23, 35%), undesirable extractions (5/23, 22%), and a prolonging of preoperative orthodontics (5/23, 22%). The median age at which previous orthodontic treatment had been started was 13.5 (range 11–26). Nearly a third of patients reported that they had not been advised by their referring practitioner that a combined orthodontic and surgical approach might be required. The study suggests that preliminary assessment should be improved. Patients should be informed about and prevented from undergoing orthodontic treatment that may limit future surgical management, otherwise they may have to face repeated and prolonged orthodontic treatment, unexpected operations, and potential limitations to the outcome of surgical treatment. This could be achieved through the training and education of all practitioners and the development of referral guidelines.
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Published online: December 07, 2011
Accepted: November 9, 2011
© 2011 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.