We use custom surgical plates to give you the best surgical outcome
What are custom surgical plates?
Surgical plates and screws are used during orthognathic jaw surgery procedures to hold the jaw bones in their new position while the bone heals. Traditionally these are a generic plate, the same plate design used in all jaw surgery procedures, and for all patients.
Custom surgical plates are plates that are made to fit you, and specifically to only fit you when the jaw bones have been moved into the position that has been preplanned. This means the results you achieve post surgery are predictable and determined prior to your surgical procedure.
When using custom surgical plates, the planning of the orthognathic jaw surgery procedure is just as important as the procedure itself. The planning determines the final placement of the surgical plates, and therefore the positioning of the facial bones during the procedure. The surgeon is present at all planning stages of the plate design, including online sessions with technicians in Belgium. All custom plates are signed off by the surgeon prior to manufacture.
Jaw Surgery Planning & Design of Your Custom Surgical Plates
To be able to manufacture the custom plates we first need to plan the desired outcome of the surgery.
Using high resolution, low dose CT data and intraoral scans we are able to provide a personalised “Orthodontic & Orthognathic assessment” to produce definitive treatment options to get to the end goal.
The treatment plan that is produced from this assessment is used in the manufacture of the custom plates, as is the data from the CT scan. We consult with technicians in Belgium in the whole design process of these custom plates to ensure the best outcome for each individual.
The custom plates are made to fit the facial bones perfectly in the proposed new position that is derived from the treatment plan. The position of the plates is determined by the desired outcome. The shape and extent of the plates is determined by the quality of bone present, the position of major nerves, roots of the teeth, and other important anatomical structures.
Custom surgical plates are stronger than traditional jaw surgery plates. They are manufactured to have maximum contact with the facial bones. This increase in surface area in direct contact with the facial bones increases the strength of the custom plates when compared to traditional jaw surgery plates. The increase in plate strength means the risk of relapse can be reduced or even eliminated.
When designing the plates, the thickness of the bone is assessed to ensure there is adequate depth for the screws, this decreases the chance of the plate ”popping” out of place if a screw doesn’t have enough bone to secure the plate adequately. A plate may have a screw hole adjusted or the shape modified to ensure all screws have adequate bone to engage them.
The use of CT data means we are able to view the major anatomical structures within the facial bones. The plates can then be designed to avoid damage to these structures.
How are the Custom Plates Placed in the Correct Position?
We have designed the plates so they fit in the place we have planned. But how do we get the facial bones in the correct position so the plates can be screwed in place?
We use custom cutting guides. These guides are placed on the facial bones to guide where the surgical bone cuts are made, and where the screws will be placed. They are designed so when the bone is cut, or the screws are placed, that the major anatomical structures such as the inferior dental nerve (nerve that gives feeling to the tongue, and lower lip area) are avoided.
The ability to design precisely where the cuts are made controls some of the potential complications that have been present and well documented in jaw surgery procedures, namely the permanent numb tongue/lower lip and damage to roots of teeth. A well planned surgery should eliminate these complications.
Once the surgical bone cuts and screw holes have been made the custom guides are removed. The jaw bones are then positioned into the predetermined position and the custom plates are screwed in place. The position of the facial bones will mirror the final position of the facial bones in the plan.
Why Custom Plates give Superior Results
In using custom jaw surgery plates we are able to overcome the many deficiencies associated with traditional forms of jaw surgery.
We are able to more accurately perform the proposed jaw surgery to achieve the planned outcome.
We are able to confidently achieve movements that have previously been viewed as difficult and complex with greater stability.
There is no guesswork required during the actual surgical procedure. If the plates lock into place we know the bones are positioned correctly as per the treatment plan.
We can be confident in causing no/minimal damage to important anatomical structures
Orthodontic & Orthognathic Assessment
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