Distraction Osteogenesis

This procedure treats deformities of the oral and facial skeleton by slowly moving apart bony segments to allow new bone to grow and fill in the gap.

Distraction Osteogenesis

What is distraction osteogenesis?

Distraction osteogenesis was originally used to treat defects in the arms and legs and was later expanded to repair cranial defects after 1990. The procedure itself is a safe and predictable method for correcting facial and oral defects. During the procedure, two segments of bone are slowly spread apart until they reach the correct positions. While the bone is spreading, it allows bone segments to regenerate soft tissue, which eventually turns into new, longer bone.

The doctors at 7x7 Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists use distraction osteogenesis to treat deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton.

The distraction osteogenesis procedure

Patients undergoing distraction osteogenesis will be scheduled for two separate surgeries. During the first surgery, your oral surgeon will cut the bone and place a distraction device across the area that was cut. By turning a pin in the distraction device, you will slowly stretch the bone segments apart over the next 2 weeks.

After the initial 2 weeks of separating the bone segments, you must allow time for the new, regenerated tissue to heal and turn into bone. This usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Once the new bone has healed, you will come in for your second procedure, and your oral surgeon will remove the distraction device in a short surgical procedure.

Many patients claim that this process is less painful than braces. During the surgical procedures, you are placed under general anesthesia and do not experience pain or discomfort. Oral surgeons undergo extensive training in the safe administration of IV sedation and anesthesia, so you are in excellent hands with the team at 7x7 Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists.

Am I a candidate for distraction osteogenesis?

If you have a congenital craniofacial defect, such a cleft palate, Crouzon, Apert, or other craniosynostosis syndromes, or have an improperly formed lower jaw, you may be a candidate for distraction osteogenesis. This procedure can also treat facial injuries or aid in the placement of a bone graft.

Distraction osteogenesis can be performed on patients of any age. It is often recommended for young patients because the period of distraction and recovery is much shorter than it is for adults. This is due to children and younger patients having generally faster bone regenerative capabilities than adults.

Distraction osteogenesis in San Francisco

If you are interested in finding out more about distraction osteogenesis and how it could benefit you or your loved ones, please contact our Van Ness, Stonestown, or 7x7 Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Specialists office. We can safely perform distraction osteogenesis and other procedures in the safety and comfort of our pristine offices. Our team looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve a happy, healthy smile!