The August issue of the AJO-DO provided a review regarding clinical considerations for orthodontists to enhance the level of treatment while simultaneously minimizing the exposure to risk (Abdelkarim A, Jerrold L. Risk management strategies in orthodontics. Part 1: clinical considerations. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2015;148:345-9). Although the article focuses on 20 strategies for risk reduction, we focused our attention on the authors’ suggestion regarding orthognathic treatment planning, which reads, “If orthognathic surgery is pursued, let the surgeon formulate the treatment plan while you render prescription orthodontics, as opposed to participating in the surgical treatment planning.”
The treatment and care for the orthognathic patient should be interdisciplinary. The patient requiring orthognathic surgery to correct a dentofacial deformity benefits greatly from open communication between the surgeon and the orthodontist. The benefits of this communication have been historically cited in the literature. The orthodontist must provide insight into plausible tooth movement rather than providing “prescription orthodontics” as instructed by the orthognathic surgeon.
It is our belief that by not participating in the surgical treatment planning, orthodontists would, in fact, be increasing their exposure to risk. Merely following the opinion of one specialist can lead to suboptimal esthetic or functional results for the patient.