Orthognathic Surgery for Sleep Apnea

Q: Dr. Eppley, I initially consulted a doctor for orthognathic surgery for treating obstructive sleep apnea. He gave me the option to do the orthodontics and straighten the teeth before surgery or just do the surgery and only fix the apnea. The only instruction that he ever gave to my orthodontist is to maximize the overjet. My orthodontist is currently trying to move it into two defined arches as per his plan.

I reached out to you as I have been researching orthognathic surgery and other things related to it. My major concern is appearance and elimination of sleep apnea. Reading around I saw that cheek implants and jaw implants could enhance the appearance and started wondering if that would be something that I could do to have a great aesthetic outcome in addition to the functional improvement. I could certainly use some guidance here.

A: What you need to focus join first are the maxillomandibular advancements for the treatment of your sleep apnea. This will involve moving the underlying bones and it will change your appearance. But implants can not be put in at the same time for a variety of reasons. You need to fix the bone first, see what you look like after and then consider any aesthetic changes that may, if any, be determined to be beneficial. In short you can’t perform orthognathic surgery and facial implant surgery at the same time for functional and aesthetic reasons.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana