Sagittal splitting is a surgical procedure in jaw surgery primarily used to correct misalignments of the lower jaw. This technique is an essential part of orthognathic surgery, aiming to correct jaw misalignments to improve the function and aesthetics of the masticatory apparatus.
During sagittal splitting, the lower jaw bone is split longitudinally (sagittally). This allows the surgeon to relocate the tooth-bearing part of the lower jaw accordingly. This technique is typically used for bite correction and with the Le Fort I osteotomy to correct other functional severe disorders (e.g. obstructive sleep apnea).
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia. First, an incision is made on the inside of the lower jaw to gain access to the jawbone. The bone is then precisely split and placed in the desired position. Metal plates and screws fix the bone in its new position.
A successful sagittal split can improve jaw alignment, resulting in better chewing and speaking function and more balanced facial aesthetics. Surgery can also help relieve symptoms such as TMJ pain or headaches caused by the misalignment. A successful mandibular osteotomy will significantly increase the patient’s quality of life. In patients with sleep apnea, it can also lead to an improvement in nighttime sleep and a massive reduction in sleep apnea symptoms.
An experienced oral surgeon and comprehensive preoperative planning are crucial to the procedure’s success. Close collaboration with the orthodontist is essential to achieve the best functional and aesthetic results.