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Abstract

Distraction osteogenesis in the maxillofacial skeleton is an increasingly popular alternative to many conventional orthognathic surgical procedures. This review summarizes recent data regarding the biological and biomechanical basis of distraction osteogenesis, its advantages and disadvantages, and special considerations in maxillofacial distraction. Intraoral mandibular distraction osteogenesis, maxillary and midfacial distraction, and alveolar distraction osteogenesis are discussed. This review also discusses sutural expansion/maxillary protraction osteogenesis and orthodontically induced periodontal osteogenesis, which are similar to physeal osteogenesis. In the near future, improved understanding of biomolecular mechanisms that mediate distraction osteogenesis may guide the development of targeted strategies that use molecular mediators, growth factors, or stem cells to improve the efficiency and quality of bone regeneration.

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