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The E. H. Angle Education and Research Foundation Inc.
The Angle Orthodontist
Distraction osteogenesis is extensively used for the elongation of hypoplastic mandibles in children, yet the soft tissue profile response to this is not well understood. The pre- and posttreatment lateral cephalometric radiographs of 27 pediatric patients who underwent bilateral mandibular elongation using distraction osteogenesis were analyzed retrospectively to correlate horizontal soft tissue advancement with horizontal underlying bone advancement at B point and pogonion. Horizontal advancement (in millimeters) of bone and overlying soft tissue at these points was collected from the radiographs of each patient, and linear regression analysis was performed to determine the relationship of hard to soft tissue horizontal advancement at these points. A 1:0.90 mean ratio of bone to soft tissue advancement was observed at B point/labiomental sulcus and at pogonion/soft tissue pogonion (linear regression analysis demonstrated slopes [β1 values] of 0.94 and 0.92, respectively). These ratios were consistent throughout the sample population and are highly predictive of the soft tissue response that can be anticipated. Magnitude of advancement, age, and sex of the patient had no effect on these ratios in our population. This study assists with our understanding of the soft tissue response that accompanies bony elongation during distraction osteogenesis which will allow us to more effectively treatment plan the orthodontic and surgical intervention that will optimize the patients' functional and esthetic outcome.