You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on

This one is about: Inside-the-Mouth Style Distractor Device

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Until now, patients with oral or facial deformities caused by trauma or congenital disorders have had to wear a metal device implanted into the jaw from the outside of the face in order to correct the problem. Surgeons at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, are among the first to offer patients a distraction device implanted completely inside the mouth that helps to regrow destroyed bone, essentially growing a new jaw for the patient.

Dr. Brian Smith, chairman of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Temple University Hospital and School of Dentistry, conducted the first implant procedure using the DynaForm, the first internal oral distraction device, in August. The patient, Joan Dugan, was born with a lower jaw significantly smaller than her upper jaw. This misalignment made eating and speaking difficult since her teeth did not meet and her tongue was in an awkward position.

Howmedica Leibinger, manufacturer of DynaForm, chose Temple as one of only three sites in the nation to be the first to offer the device to patients. Dr. Smith will be among a small group of surgeons that will train in Venezuela and then teach other physicians across the country the proper use and implantation technique for the distractor.

The distractor works like those traditionally used in the jaw or leg, but it is much less cumbersome in size and virtually unnoticeable during use since it is implanted internally. The device - not much larger than a standard paper clip - is fixed to the jaw and then widened 1 millimeter each day by the patient.

The distraction process, which makes room for new bone to grow, takes five to nine days. Afterward the device is left in for approximately six weeks to allow the new bone to fill in the gap before being removed. Besides correcting facial deformities, DynaForm can be used as an alternative to painful extraction for severe tooth crowding. The device widens the jaw, allowing existing teeth to realign rather than having to be pulled.

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