Long-term skeletal and dental effects of mandibular symphyseal distraction osteogenesis.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of mandibular symphyseal distraction osteogenesis using a tooth-borne expansion device. The sample included 20 Hispanic nonsyndromic patients (11 males and 9 females) between 13.5 years and 37.3 years of age. Predistraction (1.5 months before surgery), postdistraction (1 month after surgery), and long-term follow-up (1.3 year after surgery) records included posteroanterior, lateral, and panoramic radiographs and models. Postdistraction radiographic evaluation showed that symphyseal distraction osteogenesis produced insignificant increases in the bicondylar, bigonion, and biantegonion widths; intermolar and, especially, intercanine widths increased significantly and a distraction gap was observed in the symphyseal region. Follow-up model analysis showed the largest width increases between the first molars and second premolars and the smallest width increases between canines and first premolars. The difference between the postdistraction and long-term follow-up width changes was explained by the postdistraction orthodontic effect, which modified the shape of the dental arch. A disproportionate pattern of distraction, characterized by significantly greater dental than skeletal widening, was observed in the second molar and antegonion region. Distraction osteogenesis without presurgical orthodontic treatment produced significant proclination of the mandibular incisors; no proclination was observed in cases with predistraction orthodontic treatment. Dental crowding was resolved by the movement of teeth into the distraction regenerate and concomitant orthodontic treatment. Follow-up radiographs showed transverse skeletal stability of the distraction procedure. We conclude that mandibular symphyseal distraction osteogenesis increased mandibular arch width and partially corrected dental crowding, with a potential for disproportionate distraction patterns and proclination of the mandibular incisors.