Aim: Variations of occlusal plane inclination (pitch) are paramount for final patient’s profile in bimaxillary orthognathic surgery (convex/concave appearance). It is however difficult to have correspondence of occlusal plane inclination in cephalometric radiograph, lateral photo and articulator models. This gives less references while planning surgery. A new technique to measure the sagittal occlusal plane inclination is presented.
Materials and methods: The technique consists in a simple spirit-level stuck on the patient’s skin at the cheekbone level, parallel to the tragus-nose plane, that orients the head horizontally while taking photos and cephalometric radiograph. A spirit-level is also glued to the lateral arm of the face-bow, so that it will be oriented in the same way, without using the nose pin.
Results: When using the spirit-level technique, cephalometric radiograph, profile photo and upper arch model on articulator present the same occlusal plane inclination, that will easily be measured and modified during surgical planning. Cases operated in the last year using this registration method show good correspondence between profile’s prevision and real result, both in the pre- and post-op tracing superimposition and in the clinic evaluation. This correspondence resulted to be better than with any other usual method.
Conclusions: Using the spirit-level technique, patient’s head is hold in the same, repeatable position during registrations of pre-op records and the inclination of occlusal plane is reliable when planning the maxillary movement on articulator. Comparisons with other planning techniques, e.g. computer softwares, will be useful in the future.
Conflict of interest: None declared.