Adequate alveolar bone height and width are required for the successful placement of dental implants. Conventional therapeutic regimens for alveolar atrophy are bone grafts or augmentation using allografts and membrane (GBR). Conventional graft techniques have some limitations and complications such as infection, soft tissue problem and high resorption rate. Recently, distraction osteogenesis of alveolar bone is considered as a new alternative for ridge augmentation. Distraction osteogenesis was originally defined and popularized by Ilizarov for lengthening of long bone. Some clinicians have tried to apply distraction osteogenesis in treatment of maxillofacial discrepancies. It was also used to augment alveolar bone. Cologne study group successfully applied the technique for augmentation of alveolar bone and designed several miniplate-distractor systems fabricated by Martin Medizintechnik GmbH in Germany. Vertical distraction of alveolar bone was successfully completed in 104 patients with miniplate-distractor systems. The mean distance of distraction was 10.2mm (range: 6-15 mm) and the mean length of segment was 45 mm (range: 6-127 mm). 162 dental implants in 54 patients were placed immediately or 4 weeks later after removal of the distractor. The results of our study show that vertical distraction of alveolar bone is an effective and reliable technique to restore alveolar atrophy and alveolar vertical defect caused by trauma or tumor.