Very infrequently, a problem may be caused more by the jaws not being in the correct position than in just the teeth being crooked. In these cases it may be necessary to surgically reposition the jaws. Usually, braces will be placed first and the teeth aligned on each jaw. Then the jaws are moved surgically so that the teeth fit together. We work closely with an oral surgeon to plan and coordinate this combined approach to treatment.
Distraction Osteogenesis (DO) is a treatment for some deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton. Distraction Osteogenesis, first used in 1903 became popular in western medicine in the 1960's, has provided Unicare Center For Implant Dentistry with a safe and predictable method to treat selected deformities of the oral and facial skeleton. Distraction Osteogenesis means the slow movement apart (distraction) of two bony segments in a manner such that new bone is allowed to fill in the gap created by the separating bony segments. 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will my insurance company cover the cost of Osteogenesis surgical procedure?
A: Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the Osteogenesis surgical 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.
Q: Is Distraction Osteogenesis a painful procedure?
A: 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. After surgery there is no more discomfort that having braces tightened.
Q: What are the advantages of Distraction Osteogenesis versus traditional surgery for a similar condition?
A: Distraction Osteogenesis surgical procedures typically produce less pain and swelling than the traditional surgical procedure for a similar condition. Distraction Osteogenesis eliminates the need for bone grafts and provides greater stability in cases where significant movement of bony segments are involved.
Q: What are the disadvantages of Distraction Osteogenesis?
A: Distraction Osteogenesis requires the patient to return to the surgeon's office frequently during the initial two weeks after surgery. This is necessary because in this time frame the surgeon will need to closely monitor the patient for any infection and teach the patient how to activate the appliance. In some cases, a second minor office surgical procedure is necessary to remove the distraction appliance.
Q: Can Distraction Osteogenesis be used instead of bone grafts to add bone to my jaws?
A: Yes. It has become an easy process to place and use a distraction device to slowly grow bone in selected areas of bone loss in the upper and lower jaws. The newly formed bone can then serve as an excellent foundation for dental implants.
Q: Does Distraction Osteogenesis leave scars on the face?
A: No. The entire surgery is done within the mouth and the distraction devices used by Unicare Center For Implant Dentistry remain inside the mouth. There are no facial surgical incisions are made so no unsightly facial scars result.