Rigid versus wire fixation for mandibular advancement: Skeletal and dental changes after 5 years

Calogero Dolce, John P. Hatch, Joseph E. Van Sickels, John D. Rugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO) is the most common surgical procedure for the correction of mandibular retrognathism. Commonly, the proximal and distal segments are fixated together with either wire or rigid screws or plates. The purpose of this study was to compare long-term (5 years) skeletal and dental changes between wire and rigid fixation after BSSO. In this multisite, prospective, randomized clinical trial, the rigid fixation group received three 2-mm bicortical position screws, and the wire fixation group received inferior border wires and 6 weeks of skeletal maxillomandibular fixation with 24-gauge wires. Cephalometric films were obtained 2 weeks before surgery and at 1 week, 8 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 5 years after surgery. Linear cephalometric changes were referenced to a cranial base coordinate system. Before surgery, both groups were comparable with respect to linear and angular measurements of craniofacial morphology. Both groups underwent similar surgical changes. Skeletal and dental movements occurred in both groups throughout the study period. Five years after surgery, the wire group had 2.2 mm (42%) of sagittal skeletal relapse, while the rigid group remained unchanged from immediately postsurgery. Surprisingly, at 5 years, both groups had similar changes in overbite and overjet. This was attributed to dental changes in the maxillary and mandibular incisors. Although rigid fixation is more stable than wire fixation for maintaining the skeletal advancement after a BSSO, the incisor changes made the resultant occlusions of the 2 groups indistinguishable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-619
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grant DE09630.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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