The aim of this retrospective study was to compare three-dimensional (3D) soft tissue and hard tissue changes between orthodontics-first approach (OFA) and surgery-first approach (SFA) after mandibular setback surgery. All patients underwent bilateral sagittal split osteotomy, and were examined by lateral cephalograms and 3D optical scanner before surgery (T0) and 1 (T1), 3 (T2), and 12 (T3) months after surgery. Three standard angles (FMA, U1 to FH, IMPA) were measured as hard tissue change and the 2 sets of 3D data were superimposed, and volumetric differences were calculated as soft tissue change. Statistical analyses were performed by using unpaired t-tests. Differences with P < 0.05 were considered significant. A total of 39 patients with mandibular prognathism were included in this study. The OFA group consisted of 24 patients and the SFA group of 15 patients. The SFA group exhibited more labial inclination from T1 to T2 (p = 0.008) and T2 to T3 (p = 0.003) than did the OFA group. There were no significant changes at maxilla and mandible at each term of T0, T1, T2 and T3 (p > 0.05), but compared to before surgery, mandibular volume in SFA group significant increased at 1year (p = 0.049) after surgery. We found that the soft tissue changes after the SFA differed significantly from those after the OFA; thus, soft tissue predictions require more care. An analysis of our data compared with OFA and SFA for the patient with mandibular prognathism confirm that the mandibular soft tissue changes by postoperative orthodontic treatment and occlusal relationship in SFA.
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