Mandibular distraction osteogenesis is the process of generating new bone in a gap between 2 bone segments in response to the application of graduated tensile stress across the bone gap. These distraction forces applied to bone also create tension in the surrounding soft tissues resulting in simultaneous expansion of the functional soft tissue matrix.Aim:
To investigate and evaluate the changes in facial soft tissue following mandibular distraction osteogenesis and their relationship with the changes in bone movements.Materials and Methods:
Mandibular elongation of 13 patients was done by the use of bilateral distraction osteogenesis in 10 patients and unilateral distraction osteogenesis in 3 patients, soft tissue evaluation was done by measuring 4 facial lines (tragus-commissure of mouth, lateral canthus-commissure of mouth, medial canthus-commissure of mouth, and lower lip length). The measurements were done by the use of measurement tape preoperatively and after the consolidation period.Results:
Soft tissue changes were observed in all patients. There was highly significant increase in tragus-commissure line in all patients, significant increase in lateral canthus-commissure line in 10 patients, and significant increase in medial canthus-commissure line and lower lip length in 9 patients. The lines’ relation with the overjet was highly significant in right side of tragus-commissure line, lateral canthus-commissure line, medial canthus-commissure line, and lower lip length, and significant in left side of tragus-commissure line, lateral canthus-commissure line, and medial canthus-commissure lineConclusion:
Distraction osteogenesis has recognizable effect on facial soft tissue profile in addition to its effect on skeletal structure.