Distraction osteogenesis is a surgical process for reconstruction of skeletal deformities. It involves gradual, controlled displacement of surgically created fractures which results in simultaneous expansion of soft tissue and bone volume. It is the ability to reconstruct combined deficiencies in bone and soft tissue that makes this process unique and invaluable. Although the majority of surgical experience with distraction technology has been in orthopedics, early results indicate the process to be equally effective in facial skeletal reconstruction. It is now possible to apply distraction technology to deformities of the jaws and dentoalveolar process. Development of miniature, internal distraction devices have made this clinically feasible and practical. This technique is now utilized extensively by maxillofacial surgeons for the correction of craniofacial deformities.
Orthognathic surgery is a surgery to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders or to correct orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. It is also used in treatment of congenital conditions like cleft palate. Bones can be cut and re- aligned, held in place with either screws or plates and screws.
Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon almost always in collaboration with orthodontic treatment, often including braces before and after surgery, and retainers after the final removal of braces. Orthognathic surgery is often needed after reconstruction of cleft palate or other major craniofacial anomalies.