Invited Speaker for the Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Victoria Chapter
Talk title: “Changing faces, changing lives? Can orthognathic surgery improve the socioemotional wellbeing of patients with dentoskeletal malformations?”
Synopsis: A significant portion of patients with dentoskeletal malformations are motivated to undergo orthognathic surgery in order to enhance their socioemotional wellbeing. Many have experienced social rejection, exclusion, and bullying, causing them significant psychological distress, social anxiety and depression. Up to 1 year post-surgery, patients report that orthognathic surgery has changed their lives – improving their attractiveness, self-confidence, and oral health related quality of life. However, the quality of evidence for the socioemotional benefits of orthognathic surgery is poor, and the maintenance of these reported gains is uncertain. The first goal of this presentation is to share the science of psychological wellbeing and the concept of hedonic adaptation in order to raise awareness of the psychological processes that can work against the maintenance of gains in psychological wellbeing. The second, but equally important, goal of this presentation is to start a discussion about how patient education and psychological support in the post-operative period can help to maintain the hedonic benefits of orthognathic surgery.