Surgical Template to Minimize the Damage of Tooth Buds in Young Children With Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

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Mandibular distraction osteogenesis has become one of the most powerful reconstructive techniques for the treatment of mandibular deformities in young children. Damage to the tooth buds is often cited as a complication of it. The purpose of this study was to precisely design the osteotomy line and avoid the damage of tooth buds at the mandibular angle area with the help of surgical template.


Six patients aged from 6 to 10 years were selected in this study. Three-dimensional computed tomography data was put into Mimics software for preoperative planning the osteotomy line and the accurate placement of the distractor based on the exact position of tooth follicle. And then the surgical template was manufactured by a three-dimensional printer with rapid prototyping technique. The surgeons were guided to perform the osteotomy aided with the prefabricated template through an intraoral approach. Distraction began 7 days postoperation with a rate of 1 mm/d and the distractor was removed after a 6 to 8 months consolidation period. The tooth buds were observed through radiographs that were performed at 5 time intervals: before distraction, at the end of latency, at the end of distraction, at the end of consolidation and 2 years of the postoperation to remove the distractor.


The average follow-up time is 24 months. Facial appearance and occlusal plane of all the young patients were greatly improved without complications. From the radiological observation, the tooth buds was intact after the surgery and the second molar normally erupted after removing the distractor.


The surgical template was considered to be helpful in improving the surgical accuracy and avoiding the tooth buds damage during mandibular distraction osteogenesis.

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