Controlled Multiplanar Distraction of the Mandible, Part II: Laboratory Studies of Sagittal (Anteroposterior) and Vertical (Superoinferior) Movements

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Abstract

The application of distraction osteogenesis in craniofacial surgery has significantly altered the treatment of congenital mandibular deficiencies. However, evaluation of results in both animal studies and clinical cases has revealed deficiencies, particularly in two areas. First, distraction using a uniplanar device in an anteroposterior direction can result in a persistent anterior open bite. Second, the lateralization of the distracted hemimandible was often limited, with insufficient incremental gain in the bigonial distance. To overcome these shortcomings, a multiplanar distraction device was developed and tested in the canine model. This report details canine studies addressing the first problem: combined anteroposterior or sagittal (z-axis) and superoinferior or vertical (y-axis) movements. Six dogs underwent bilateral mandibular distraction with an external (extraoral), multiplanar device and completed sagittal plus vertical distraction. Evaluation included clinical examination (facial form, jaw position, and occlusion), photography, cephalograms (posteroanterior, basilar, and lateral), three-dimensional computed tomography reconstructions, and examination of dry skulls. The dogs averaged 18.5 mm (range, 15–20 mm) of sagittal distraction and 41.0° (range, 21–50°) of vertical distraction. Marked anterior open bites were produced after vertical distraction secondary to premature contact of the maxillary and mandibular molars. Distraction in the vertical direction also had the additive effect of increasing the sagittal gains by approximately 5% to 10%. In conclusion, a multiplanar distraction device (with the potential for distraction in three planes) was effective in increasing mandibular anteroposterior thrust (sagittal distraction) and also in creating an anterior open bite (vertical or superoinferior distraction). Vertical distraction probably requires bilateral osteotomies to obtain optimal results. The preliminary gains in sagittal length are modified (reduced or increased) after distraction in a second plane (vertical and horizontal). Specifically, vertical distraction in the inferior direction (creating an open bite) also leads to isolated increases in the anteroposterior plane. Conversely, vertical distraction in the superior direction (closing an open bite), as seen in a human malocclusion, may lead to isolated decreases in the anteroposterior plane, but this question remains to be investigated in the laboratory.

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