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Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis is defined as a surgical procedure for reconstruction of skeletal deformities by creating new bone and soft tissues in the region. In the craniofacial skeleton, the mandible, maxillae, zygomatic bone and in fact the entire middle third of the facial skeleton can be distracted. A very good indication is in cases where there is deficient growth in either upper or lower jaw..

Distractors are basically classified as either Intraoral (placed inside the mouth) or Extraoral (placed outside the mouth). The type of distractor device is selected as per individual patient needs. Distraction Osteogenesis has changed the face of reconstructive surgery in the recent years. The most important advantage of this procedure is that it grows new bone as well as soft tissues from the existing ones which impart maximum stability to the results as compared to conventional orthognathic procedures.

Mandibular distraction:

it is used for mandibular retrognathia i.e. small lower jaw, mandibular asymmetry (one side grows normally but the other lags behind), deformity arising from Temporomandibular joint ankylosis (mandibular joint fusion leading to arrest of lower jaw growth). Usually, intraoral devices are used for mandibular distraction.

Maxillary Distraction:

It is used for correction of maxillary retrusion i.e. smaller upper jaw. Maxillary distraction can be done using either external or internal devices. External devices give good results but are slightly cumbersome for the patient and hence are best avoided whenever possible. On the other hand, intraoral devices are smaller in size and easily fit in the mouth. The patient's routine life too is not hampered.

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Xray picture of Intra oral mandibular distractor

Mandibular Asymmetry Correction


Maxillary retrusion correction using External Device


Maxillary retrusion correction using Internal Device


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