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Stability of skeletal Class III malocclusion after combined maxillary and mandibular procedures.

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Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Udine, Italy.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the skeletal stability and time course of postoperative changes after surgical correction of skeletal Class III malocclusion. Combined maxillary and mandibular procedures were performed in 40 consecutive patients. Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy stabilized with wire osteosynthesis for mandibular setback and low-level Le Fort I osteotomy stabilized with plates and screws for maxillary advancement were performed. Maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) was in place for 6 weeks. Lateral cephalograms were taken before surgery, immediately postoperatively, 8 weeks after surgery, and 1 year postoperatively. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to vertical maxillary movement at surgery: a maxilla-up group with upward movement of the posterior nasal spine of 2 mm or more (group 1, n = 22), and a minimal vertical change group with less than 2 mm of vertical repositioning (group 2, n = 18). The results indicate that surgical correction of Class III malocclusion with combined maxillary and mandibular osteotomies appears to be fairly stable. One year postsurgery, maxillary stability was excellent, with a mean horizontal relapse at point A that represented 10.7% of maxillary advancement in group 1 and 13.4% in group 2. In the vertical plane, maxillary stability was also excellent, with a mean of 0.18 mm of superior repositioning at point A for group 1 and 1.19 mm for group 2. The mandible relapsed a mean of 2.97 mm horizontally at pogonion in group 1 (62% of mandibular setback) and 3.41 mm (49.7% of setback) in group 2. Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy with wire osteosynthesis and MMF was not as stable as maxillary advancement and accounted for most of the total horizontal relapse (almost 85%) observed. A trend to relapse was observed for maxillary advancement greater than 6 mm, while the single variable accounting for mandibular relapse in group 1 was the amount of surgical setback. Clockwise rotation of the ascending ramus at surgery was not correlated with mandibular relapse in relation to the type of fixation performed and therefore does not seem to be responsible for relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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