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Dr. Robert Kaspers has had positive feedback from many of his patients after treatment. But it isn’t often that a patient jumps out of the dental chair to hug him. That was Fiaz Sami’s reaction upon seeing Dr. Kaspers after his orthognathic surgery.
Fiaz was referred back to Dr. Kaspers’ office after oral surgery because he was unhappy with his appearance and his bite. He had a retruded lower jaw and his skeletal makeup caused him to position his jaw forward.
After taking an i-CAT scan and viewing it in Tx STUDIO™ 3D software, Dr. Kaspers evaluated Fiaz’s condylar position, calculated airway measurements and concluded that Fiaz’s airway was severely constricted. In the software, both patient and doctor could see the airway area in 3D and in color coding that highlighted the constriction values. The constricted airway had affected his waking and sleeping life since he was a child, and he lived with the debilitating symptoms of sleeping restlessly, tiring easily and panting when exercising because he thought that was just his “normal.”
Fiaz recalled his amazement on his improved health after his orthognathic surgery. “The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that my teeth were aligned, which was a good sign, and I was able to take a deep breath through my nose. The first few days, I was emotional. I hadn’t breathed this well since I was a child. To be able to take a breath, it just felt so good.”
In addition to breathing better when he was awake, Fiaz also noticed a dramatic improvement in his sleep. “Now, the dreams I have are very vivid,” he described. “I don’t wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, and I can sleep for hours now without any disturbance. When I wake up, I feel refreshed not exhausted.”
As an adult, Fiaz had to undergo orthognathic surgery, but if children are diagnosed with a constricted airway at an early age, they may be able to wear an appliance to help grow the lower jaw and improve the size of the airway. Fiaz said that parents should take advantage of the opportunity that he did not have and avoid surgery in adulthood. He added, “A child just doesn’t know to say, ‘I can’t breathe properly.’ But if this is diagnosed, with proof that their airway is constricted, I feel very strongly that parents should be aware of all aspects of their child’s condition in order to make the best choice on their behalf.”
i-CAT cone beam 3D imaging helped to provide the information about Fiaz’s anatomical structures and airway that led his dental professionals to a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. He said, “It is so tough for a person to understand how much better they can breathe after treatment. The way I functioned before, I felt like I was ‘half’ there. I feel fully present now, cognitively, mentally and emotionally. In so many different ways, this was a life-changing surgery.”