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Article: Volume 14 Number 4 Page 209 - October 2021

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  Orth Update 2021; 14: 209-212

Orthodontics:  Clinical psychology and its role in the orthognathic surgical pathway

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Abstract: Orthognathic surgery is a major elective procedure that can pose a significant amount of psychological distress to patients before, during and after surgery. These patients tend to have higher levels of state anxiety and a poor (facial) body image of themselves. Patients less satisfied by their outcomes tend to have had particularly high expectations of surgery beforehand. Therefore, it is important to ensure that there are effective and supportive psychology services in place. Here, we assess the utility and the role of clinical psychology in modern, holistic orthognathic surgery and the tools used to assess patients for further psychological intervention.

Clinical relevance: Clinicians should be aware of the services available to patients who are transitioning through the orthognathic surgery pathway.

Author notes: Matoula Taloumtzi, DDS, MSc, MJDF, Clinical Fellow in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Royal London Hospital. Ciarán P Devine, BA, BDentSc, MFD, Specialty Registrar in Orthodontics, The Royal London Hospital. Charlotte Priestley, BSc (Hons), DClinpsy, Clinical Psychologist, The Royal London Hospital. Michael Millwaters, BDS, FDS, MB BS, FRCS (OMFS), Consultant in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Royal London Hospital. Email:

Objective: To inform the reader of the role of clinical psychology in a modern, holistic orthognathic surgery pathway and the tools used by clinicians to determine the patients who would benefit from such services.