Distraction Osteogenesis

jaw painRepairs of facial bone defects and abnormalities may require a procedure called distraction osteogenesis. This treatment slowly separates sections of bones over time to encourage growth in the spaces between. Oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgeons also rely on this procedure to prepare a patient’s jaw for the placement of a dental implant.

Patients benefit from this type of care because it accomplishes more than some forms of invasive surgeries. Those undergoing distraction osteogenesis often have fewer corrective procedures that require going under the knife to accomplish. 

How Does Distraction Osteogenesis Work?

Distraction Osteogenesis has proven invaluable due to its minimally invasive nature that allows the body to do the majority of the regeneration and healing. By taking advantage of these important features of how our bones work, it’s possible to create medical solutions for facial conditions that require additional bone growth.

This is accomplished by:

  • Separating the affected area of bone into two pieces
  • Reposition the two halves as needed
  • Insertion of a device called a distractor to slowly separate the bones over time
  • Wait for the bone to fill the space created

Two months is the typical treatment time for this procedure to produce its results. This is an outpatient surgery that relies on your body’s ability to do the work by healing. After your initial operation, you will go to several post-surgical follow-up appointments where your surgeon will show you how to use the installed appliance. You must also follow a strict schedule to continue adjusting the gap to encourage bone growth during the process. 

What Distraction Osteogenesis Feels and Looks Like

Despite the intimidating sound of this treatment’s name, the level of pain and discomfort associated with it is minimal. While the procedure itself takes place under general anesthesia, after a short period of antibiotics and pain relievers afterward, patients describe the feeling of gradual stretching and growth as a mild pressure. 

Another concern you might have is the appearance of the distraction device and scarring from incisions. The good news is that there are no visible scars, since they’re typically kept inside the mouth or in hidden places on the forehead or face if an external device is necessary. Typically, these devices fit within the mouth so there are no outward appearances of your surgery. 

Who Needs Distraction Osteogenesis?

Patients of any age who need a distraction osteogenesis procedure will usually qualify, but important factors like overall health play an important role in deciding if this treatment is appropriate. While young patients tend to heal quickly and have shorter distraction periods, older adults may experience longer treatment time as growth slows with age.

Some of the more common medical conditions that a client may undergo a distraction osteogenesis procedure include:

  • Cleft palate
  • Preparation of the jaw for dental implants
  • Bone graft surgery
  • Underdeveloped jaw bone
  • Apert syndrome
  • Traumatic injury deformation
  • Crouzon syndrome

The majority of cases requiring this type of treatment receive a referral from their regular physician or dentist. It’s important to follow through on this recommendation and speak with a highly-trained and experienced OMF surgeon right away. 

Skilled New Jersey Distraction Osteogenesis OMF Surgeon

If you’re ready to begin the process of correcting a longstanding jaw deformity or strengthen your bone density to support future dental implants, consider Dr. Nancy Herbst of Union City Oral Surgery first.  She and our office’s helpful staff are here to educate you about this minimally invasive treatment option so you have confidence in our ability and the improvement in your life. 

As one of New Jersey Trend’s Top Dentists in 2019, Dr. Herbst will give you an exceptional patient experience of comfort and care as demonstrated in her more than 25 years of OMF practice. Trust Union City Oral Surgery and our state-of-the-art equipment and methodology to give you a level of care that meets your most important oral healthcare needs.  Contact us at (201) 601-9262 to schedule your consultation today.

Union City Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C.

Nancy Herbst, DDS

311 33rd StreetUnion City, NJ 07087

Phone: 201-601-9262

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