Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a method of treatment for selected deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton.

Distraction osteogenesis was initially used to treat defects of the oral and facial region in 1990. Since then, the surgical and technological advances made in the field of distraction osteogenesis have provided oral and maxillofacial surgeons with a safe and predictable method to treat selected deformities of the oral and facial skeleton.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Distraction Osteogenesis

What does the term distraction osteogenesis mean? Distraction osteogenesis means the slow movement apart of two bony segments in a manner such that new bone is allowed to fill in the gap created by the separation.

Is the surgery for distraction osteogenesis more involved than “traditional surgery” for a similar procedure? No. Distraction osteogenesis surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis with most of the patients going home the same day of surgery. The surgical procedure itself is less invasive so there is usually less pain and swelling.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of osteogenesis surgical procedure? Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the procedure provided that there is adequate and accurate documentation of the patient’s condition. Of course, individual benefits within the insurance company policy vary. After you are seen for your consultation at our office, we will assist you in determining whether or not your insurance company will cover a particular surgical procedure.

Is distraction osteogenesis painful? Since all distraction osteogenesis surgical procedures are done while the patient is under general anesthesia, pain during the surgical procedure is not an issue. Post-operatively, you will be supplied with appropriate analgesics (pain killers) to keep you comfortable and antibiotics to fight off infection. Activation of the distraction device to slowly separate the bones may cause some patients mild discomfort. In general, the slow movement of bony segments produces discomfort roughly analogous to having braces tightened.

What are the benefits of distraction osteogenesis vs. traditional surgery for a similar condition?

  • Less pain and swelling that the typical surgical procedure for a similar condition
  • Eliminates the need for bone grafts or multiple surgical sites
  • Associated with greater stability when used in major cases where significant movement of bony segments is involved.

What are the disadvantages of distraction osteogenesis?

  • Requires the patient to return to the surgeon’s office frequently during the initial two weeks after surgery to monitor the patient for any infection and teach them how to activate the appliance.
  • In some cases, a second minor office surgical procedure is necessary to remove the distraction appliance.

Can distraction osteogenesis be used instead of bone grafts to add bone to my jaws? Yes. Recent advances in technology have provided the oral and maxillofacial surgeon with an easy-to-place and use distraction device that can be implemented to slowly grow bone in selected areas of bone loss that has occurred in the upper and lower jaws. The newly formed bone can then serve as an excellent foundation for dental implants.

Does distraction osteogenesis leave scars on the face? No. The entire surgery is performed within the mouth and the distraction devices remain inside the mouth. There are no facial surgical incisions made so no facial scars result.

Are there any age limitations for patients who can receive osteogenesis? No. Distraction osteogenesis works well on patients of all ages. In general, the younger the patient, the shorter the distraction time, and the faster the consolidation phase. Adults require slightly longer period of distraction and consolidation because the bone regenerative capabilities are slightly slower than those of adolescence or infants.

Patient Reviews for Distraction Osteogenesis

Oral Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 1 Distraction Osteogenesis reviews.

Patient Review

I can't stress the great care and concerns that this office staffs professionalism has been towards me. I will continue to come to this office and Dr Hopkin. Thank you so much for taking care of me. I have a hard time having teeth impressions and the assistant was great with me and it was the only time I didn't get sick. Again thank you for your professionalism and caring of your patients.

- Tina J

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