Combined surgical-orthodontic treatment: How did it evolve and what are the best practices now?

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It has been 50 years since the landmark presentation by Hugo Obwegeser at Walter Reed Army Hospital. At that conference, Professor Obwegeser offered American surgeons techniques to correct facial skeletal deformities with access through intraoral incisions. As important advances in surgical technique and anesthesia evolved for the surgical procedures, a major contribution by American orthodontists in collaboration with surgeons was the creation of a common diagnostic, planning, and treatment scheme for use by both clinician groups in the treatment of dentofacial deformities, the skeletal and dental problems of the most severely affected 5% of the population. This article summarizes what American orthodontists and surgeons have learned in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and forecasts what might be the future of treatment for patients with dentofacial deformities.

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