Study: How satisfied are patients after orthognathic surgery?

Patients had low satisfaction with oral function six weeks after orthognathic surgery, according to a study presented at the recent American Academy for Dental Research (AADR) meeting in Washington, DC.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina wanted to evaluate whether age, gender, type of surgery, and/or time influenced three domains of satisfaction following orthognathic surgery: satisfaction with preparation for surgery and recovery, functional outcome, and interpersonal/appearance outcome.

They looked at 339 patients with "dentofacial disharmony," who were enrolled in an Institutional Review Board-approved prospective study, prior to orthognathic surgery. The participants were asked to fill out a 25-item questionnaire 6 and 52 weeks postsurgery.

Among the study findings:

  • Satisfaction for all domains improved over time.
  • At 6 weeks, satisfaction with preparation was the highest (72%), while satisfaction with oral function was the lowest (40%).
  • The youngest patients (7 years old or younger) tended to be more satisfied with the results than young adults (17 to 24 years old) and adults (older than 24 years old).

These findings suggest that patients' expectations after surgery may be too high or that recovery takes longer than patients or clinicians anticipate, the study authors concluded.

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