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Distraction osteogenesis

By slowly separating bone segments, new bone can grow in between them to repair defects in the facial bone or prepare for implant placement.

What is distraction osteogenesis?

Distraction osteogenesis refers to the slow separation of bone segments, allowing for new bone to grow in between. Oral surgeons can use distraction osteogenesis to repair certain defects of the facial bones, such as an underdeveloped jaw bone. Distraction osteogenesis can also be used to help prepare the jaw for dental implant placement.

Distraction osteogenesis procedure

The entire distraction osteogenesis treatment consists of two surgical procedures and a period of gradual bone separation. During the first surgical procedure, your surgeon will separate the bone that needs expansion and place a small distraction device. Most patients choose to undergo the initial procedure under anesthesia in order to experience minimal discomfort and sleep soundly throughout treatment. Roughly one week after surgery, the surgical site should be healed and ready for the distraction (i.e. “separation”) phase of treatment.

Your oral surgeon will then begin the distraction process, explaining the treatment plan to gradually shift the bone apart, allowing the bone to regenerate in the newly created space. You will have to return to the office for regular adjustments and check-ups until the growth process is complete. Most patients report that the adjustments are not painful and that the amount of discomfort is comparable to having one’s braces tightened. Once the bone is the proper height/width, the device will be removed. The entire procedure and all adjustments can be performed in the comfort of our advanced, surgical suites at our office in Kennewick.

Benefits of distraction osteogenesis

When compared to other bone restoration treatments, distraction osteogenesis offers a variety of benefits. Some of the benefits of distraction osteogenesis include:

Less pain and swelling: Traditional bone restoration procedures such as bone grafting create additional surgical sites, which can create some swelling and discomfort. The procedure for distraction osteogenesis is less invasive than other treatments, which leads to less swelling and pain.

More control over bone growth/movement: Distraction osteogenesis is a slower process than other treatments because the bone growth comes from fine, incremental adjustments to a distraction device that is implanted into the bone. The slower, more gradual bone separation allows for more control over the amount of new bone growth.

Our surgical team are experts in diagnosing and repairing defects of the facial skeleton. Whether you or a loved one has insufficient facial bone due to a genetic disorder, a facial injury, or bone loss, your surgeon will be able to perform a consultation and form a treatment plan that suits your needs. Our staff understands how physically and emotionally painful facial deficiencies can be, and we work hard to provide our patients with compassionate, effective care throughout the entire treatment process.

If you are interested in distraction osteogenesis, contact our office in Kennewick, WA. Our staff will be happy to answer any additional questions about the procedure and schedule you a consultation with one of our experienced oral surgeons.