Systematic review of the surgery-first approach in orthognathic surgery

Biomed J. Jul-Aug 2014;37(4):184-90. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.126863.


The surgery-first approach in orthognathic surgery has recently created a broader interest in completely eliminating time-consuming preoperative orthodontic treatment. Available evidence on the surgery-first approach should be appraised to support its use in orthognathic surgery. A MEDLINE search using the keywords "surgery first" and "orthognathic surgery" was conducted to select studies using the surgery-first approach. We also manually searched the reference list of the selected keywords to include articles not selected by the MEDLINE search. The search identified 18 articles related to the surgery-first approach. There was no randomized controlled clinical trial. Four papers were excluded as the content was only personal opinion or basic scientific research. Three studies were retrospective cohort studies in nature. The other 11 studies were case reports. For skeletal Class III surgical correction, the final long-term outcomes for maxillofacial and dental relationship were not significantly different between the surgery-first approach and the orthodontics-first approach in transverse (e.g., intercanine or intermolar width) dimension, vertical (e.g., anterior open bite, lower anterior facial height) dimension, and sagittal (e.g., anterior-posterior position of pogonion and lower incisors) dimension. Total treatment duration was substantially shorter in cases of surgery-first approach use. In conclusion, most published studies related to the surgery-first approach were mainly on orthognathic correction of skeletal Class III malocclusion. Both the surgery-first approach and orthodontics-first approach had similar long-term outcomes in dentofacial relationship. However, the surgery-first approach had shorter treatment time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Malocclusion, Angle Class III / surgery*
  • Mandibular Osteotomy*
  • Orthodontics, Corrective / methods
  • Orthognathic Surgery*
  • Orthognathic Surgical Procedures*
  • Treatment Outcome