Objectives

To evaluate changes of the upper airway and oral cavity volumes in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion undergoing bimaxillary orthognathic surgery, and to analyze the correlation between postoperative upper airway decrease and the amount of jaw movement and oral cavity volume reduction.

Materials and Methods

Thirty patients (16 males and 14 females) undergoing bimaxillary surgery were included. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the upper airway and oral cavity were performed using preoperative (T0) and postoperative (T1) (6 months) cone-beam computed tomography scans.

Results

The volume, sagittal area and minimum cross-sectional area of the upper airway were diminished (P < .001). The decrease in volume and minimum cross-sectional area in the oropharyngeal region of the upper airway were weakly correlated with B-point posterior movement (P < .05). Total oral cavity volume was decreased, with maxillary oral volume increasing and mandibular oral volume decreasing (P < .001). Upper airway decrease was highly correlated with total oral volume reduction and mandibular oral volume reduction, with the most significant correlation being with total oral volume reduction (P < .001).

Conclusions

Class III bimaxillary surgery reduced the volume, sagittal area, and minimum cross-sectional area of the upper airway as well as oral cavity volume. Upper airway changes were weakly correlated with anterior-posterior mandibular movement but significantly correlated with oral cavity volume changes. Thus, oral cavity volume reduction is a crucial factor of upper airway decrease in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion undergoing bimaxillary orthognathic surgery.

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Author notes

a

Student, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases; and Jiangsu Province Engineering Research Center of Stomatological Translational Medicine, Nanjing, China.

b

Lecturer, Department of Orthodontics, Affiliated Hospital of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University; and Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases; and Jiangsu Province Engineering Research Center of Stomatological Translational Medicine, Nanjing, China.

c

Professor, Department of Basic Science of Stomatology, Affiliated Hospital of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University; and Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases; and Jiangsu Province Engineering Research Center of Stomatological Translational Medicine, Nanjing, China.

d

Professor, Department of Orthodontics, Affiliated Hospital of Stomatology, Nanjing Medical University; and Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases; and Jiangsu Province Engineering Research Center of Stomatological Translational Medicine, Nanjing, China.

Supplementary data