Vertical distraction of the severely resorbed edentulous mandible: An assessment of treatment outcome

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Purpose: To assess the treatment outcome (implant survival, surgical complications, patient satisfaction) of vertical distraction of the severely resorbed edentulous mandible. Materials and Methods: Forty-six patients with severe resorption of the edentulous mandible (bone height 5 to 8 mm, median 6 mm) participated in this study. The anterior segment of the mandible was vertically augmented using the Groningen distraction device. One or 2 months after the last day of distraction, 2 implants (n = 92) were placed. Standardized clinical and radiographic assessments were performed annually, and patient satisfaction was scored on a 10-point rating scale (0 = completely dissatisfied; 10 = completely satisfied). Results: Three implants were lost during the healing phase, but none were lost for the rest of the follow-up period (72 +/- 10.3 months), resulting in an implant survival rate of 97%. One patient developed a fracture of the mandible 3 days after the last day of distraction; it healed uneventfully. The mean mandibular bone resorption during follow-up as measured on radiographs in the midline and distal of the implants was 9.8% +/- 0.6% and 10.2% +/- 0.8%, respectively. In 4 patients radiolucency in the distracted area persisted during the follow-up period. Four patients reported a slight sensory disturbance at the final evaluation visit. All patients functioned well with their prostheses. The mean patient satisfaction score after treatment was 8.1 +/- 1.2. Conclusion: Vertical distraction of the anterior segment of a severely resorbed alveolar ridge of the mandible can provide a proper basis for insertion and osseointegration of endosseous load-bearing implants with good implant survival, few surgical complications, and good patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • augmentation
  • dental implants
  • distraction osteogenesis
  • edentulous mandible

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