Presurgical orthopaedic treatment of newborns with clefts--functional treatment with long-term effects.J Craniomaxillofac Surg 2006; 34 Suppl 2:34-44JC
Presentation of an orthopaedic/orthodontic treatment protocol within the framework of complex rehabilitation of patients with clefts of lip, alveolus and palate. Presurgical orthopaedic treatment aims at reduction of cleft size by guiding growth and functional rehabilitation. Long-term results of maxillary development and occlusion at young adult age are reported.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
43 newborns with unilateral (19) or bilateral (24) clefts of lip, alveolus and palate were examined until their deciduous dentition was complete. In 29 patients a late follow-up was performed at age 17.3 years (mean). Maxillary dental casts were evaluated prior to and following presurgical orthopaedic treatment at the time the deciduous dentition was complete and at young adult age (2 to 5 years after termination of orthodontic treatment). Parameters were width of the alveolar and palatal cleft as well as width and length of the dental arch. In the adults occlusion was studied and the occlusal outcome was related to the therapeutical input.
Presurgical orthopaedic treatment reduced the cleft width by taking advantage of normal growth. At the age of 3 to 4 years the development of the upper dental arch was in line with that of non-cleft children.
Maxillary growth may be guided in almost physiological terms even in patients with a cleft of lip, alveolus and palate. Prerequisite is functional rehabilitation by means of orthopaedic treatment at age 1 to 12 months in terms of functional orthodontic therapy and a surgical protocol saving tissues with growth potential.