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Internal Mandible Distractors

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Evolution of Internal Mandible Distractors

Mandibular distraction (also known as distraction osteogenesis) involves precise cuts being made in the lower jaw bone. A device is applied to bridge the cut part of the jaw. The device is secured to the bone with small screws. On a daily basis, the device is designed to slowly separate the cut jaw anywhere from 0.3-1.0 mm a day. This allows for new bone to form in the cut area while lengthening the lower jaw. As the jaw moves forward, it pulls the tongue with it out of the windpipe. The devices that are applied to the cut area of the jaw may be either internal (where the device is buried beneath the skin) or external (where the device is outside the body and it is connected to the bone via pins). Each has their advantages and disadvantages. What is best for the infant will be reviewed by the surgeon.

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