Distraction osteogenesis is a treatment used for specific deformities and defects of the maxillofacial skeleton. Drs. Arzadon, Liang, Blais, and Jacks use distraction osteogenesis to treat selected deformities and defects of the bone. If you have questions about distraction osteogenesis, please call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced surgeons.
Distraction osteogenesis refers to the slow movement of bony segments in a way that new bone can fill in gaps created by the separation. It can used as an adjunct to bone grafting where there is severe vertical defect (bone height) in the alveolus (bone supporting the teeth) and correction of other maxillofacial defects. The procedure requires making cuts in the bone (osteotomies) and placement of an appliance directly on the bone segments. The appliance is activated incrementally daily until the desired correction is achieved. After healing of the bone, the appliance is removed. Additional bone grafting to correct the horizontal defect (width) may be required.
Distraction osteogenesis surgery is typically done in a hospital on an outpatient basis. Most patients go home the same day as their surgery. For small defects such as implant sites, the procedure is performed in the office.
Distraction osteogenesis can be used for patients of all ages. Generally, the younger the patient, the shorter the distraction time and the quicker the consolidation phase. Adults need a longer period of distraction and consolidation because the bone regenerative capabilities are not as robust as adolescents or infants.