Bone Distractor in Dentistry

Watch Dental Video about Bone Distractor

A distractor is a surgical instrument or apparatus that is used for bone development.

In this picture you can see a distractor. The distractor is then attached to the lower jaw. You can clearly recognize the bone defect. In this area, the alveolar ridge lies below the neighboring teeth. A potential treatment for this bone defect is a bone transplant, which would enable the renewed setting of artificial roots on the teeth. We’ll discuss this topic more in the video entitled "Implantation" However, in cases of larger bone transplants it can sometimes be difficult to cover the transplanted bone block. “Covering” means that the transplanted block has to covered with adjacent mucosa. This mucosa must be tension free and saliva proof in order for the bone to heal.

In unfavorable locations or in cases when the bone block is too large, it can be difficult to suture the mucosa tightly. The distraction solves both problems in one go. First, the distractor is positioned under the mucosa. Then, after the cuts have healed, the entire bone block, including the mucosa, is moved upward. Both the bone and the mucosa regrow. Only the winch, which the patient uses to operate the distractor, is visible in the mouth area. In the video "distractor" you see the function of a distractor on a lower jaw model. First, the distractor is attached to the lower jaw. This requires some hole-drilling. During actual operations, the drill has to be cooled off with water in order to avoid heat damage to the bone.

Distraktor auf Kiefermodell


After the drilling holes have been set, the distractor is secured with small screws. Later on, when the bone has fully regenerated, all screws and parts will be removed. You now see how the last screw is being tightened. At this point – in this case with a pencil – the cut zone is determined. The framed bone block will later be moved upward; this will correct the jaw defect. After pencil marking (special pens and marked drillings are also used in the actual mouth), some parts of the distractor are taken out again. Otherwise, it would not be possible to saw away the bone block from the jaw.

Following the mobilization of bone fragments, the distractor is assembled. By turning the winch – which later on stands in the patient‘s mouth – the bone block can be moved effortlessly and painlessly. As soon as the bone defect has been corrected and the bone has healed, the distractor is removed. There is now enough bone to perform a procedure such as an implant. After the distractor has settled in and the appropriate bone piece has disengaged, the wound is sutured tightly. After about ten days, the patient can turn the screw once a day until the bone defect has been corrected. During the following implant, the distractor is removed.

Click here to see the video: Distractor


This post is also available in: German

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