INTRODUCTION: Correction of severe malocclusions with skeletal discrepancies requires orthodontic treatment in combination with orthognathic surgery. Even though conventional orthognathic surgery (COS) is a common and well-accepted approach its influence on the signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) is still debated. Recently with the introduction of surgery first approach, a different timing for the management of dentoskeletal imbalances has been proposed. The present study is aimed at assessing the relationship between surgery first approach and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. METHODS: The study sample consisted of 24 patients who were selected to be treated with surgery first approach. Clinical follow-ups after surgery were performed every week for the first month, at 3 months, 6 months, and at 1 year. A radiological follow-up was performed at 1 week and at 1 year after the operation with a panorex and a latero-lateral teleradiograph. To assess the effect of surgery first approach on the TMDs signs and symptoms, a clinical assessment was performed 4 days before surgery (T1), 6 months after surgery (T2), and 1 year postoperatively (T3). RESULTS: The results of the authors' study show that pain assessment revealed a general improvement of this symptom in correspondence to TMJ and masticatory muscles except in the masseter and neck region. Also joint noises, TMJ functioning, migraine, and headache underwent a considerable improvement. CONCLUSION: Surgery first approach is an innovative orthognathic procedure and, by undergoing surgery first approach, patients with pre-existing TMJ dysfunction may experience a significant improvement or even resolution of the TMDs signs and symptoms.
- Surgery First, Orthognatic approach, temporo-mandibular joint