Vertical distraction of the alveolar process is an efficient method for augmentation prior to inserting dental implants. In this study, complications of this procedure and relapse of the transport segment were evaluated in partially dentulous patients. Twenty patients underwent distraction by means of extraosseous distractors. The location of the defects was the anterior mandible (4), posterior mandible (4), anterior maxilla (10) and posterior maxilla (2). Bone height was measured on panoramic radiographs preoperatively, after distraction and after implant placement at the mesial and distal point of the implant(s). Mean alveolar distraction was 6.5 mm at the mesial point (P < 0.001) and 6.1 mm at the distal point (P < 0.001). The mean relapse at the mesial point was 20% and at the distal point 17% (P < 0.05). The intraoperative and postoperative problems encountered were fracture (1) and lingual (4) and palatal (6) displacement of the transport segment. Overall complication rate was 55%. Of all implants placed (n = 63) one was lost. Implant success rate was 98%. Distraction seems to be a suitable treatment for vertically deficient alveolar bone, but a relatively high although manageable complication rate must be confronted, including considerable relapse.

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International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wolvius, E., Scholtemeijer, M., Weijland, M., Hop, W., & van der Wal, K. (2007). Complications and relapse in alveolar distraction osteogenesis in partially dentulous patients. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 36(8), 700–705. doi:10.1016/j.ijom.2007.05.002