Distraction osteogenesis is a gradual method of altering the shape or size of bones. Our oral surgeons in Amarillo can use distraction osteogenesis to correct oral or facial defects and other bone conditions in a more controlled and gradual manner than other forms of treatment. Distraction osteogenesis can also be used in place of bone grafting procedures to add bone to the jaws where bone loss has occurred. The process involves the use of a small distraction device to slowly separate bony segments and allow new bone to grow in between them.
Distraction Osteogenesis Procedure
The distraction osteogenesis treatment process usually involves a surgical procedure and a period of gradual distraction (or separation) afterward. During the initial surgical procedure, your oral surgeon will separate the bony segments in need of alteration and insert the tiny distraction device. Once the surgical site has healed, the distraction device will be ready for use.
Once the distraction device is ready (usually a week or so after the initial procedure), you will return to the oral surgeon for periodic adjustments to the device. These adjustments will slowly separate the segments of bone and allow new bone to grow between them. Some patients are nervous about this aspect of the distraction process being painful, but most patients report that the discomfort associated with the adjustments to the device is comparable to that of having braces tightened.
Once the adjustment phase is complete, there will be another procedure to remove the distraction device. Distraction osteogenesis is best for patients with good bone regeneration capabilities and low chances of developing an infection. Your oral surgeon will be able to help you determine whether or not distraction osteogenesis is right for you.
Benefits of Distraction Osteogenesis
Distraction osteogenesis offers patients a variety of benefits over more traditional procedures for a similar condition:
- Less pain and swelling than other procedures
- Eliminates the need for extra bone grafting procedures
- More stable, controlled results from treatment
To learn more about distraction osteogenesis treatments at our practice, contact our office for more information.