Dental arch relationships following palatoplasty for cleft lip and palate repair.J Dent Res. 2012 Jan; 91(1):47-51.JD
Palatal scarring is assumed to be a primary cause of facial growth derangement in cleft lip and palate. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is confounded by the clinical involvement of various surgeons, and therefore definitive conclusions are not possible. In this study, we investigated the dental arch relationship in two groups, Exposed (47 children; 11.2 yrs) and Unexposed (61 children; 11.2 yrs), with a unilateral cleft lip and palate operated on by the same surgeon. The technique of hard palate repair differed between the two groups. In the Exposed group, palatal bone of the non-cleft side only was left denuded, inducing scar formation. In the Unexposed group, a vomerplasty with tight closure of the soft tissues was applied. Three raters graded the dental arch relationship and palatal morphology using the EUROCRAN Index. The dental arch relationship in the Exposed group was less favorable than in the Unexposed group (p = 0.009). Palatal morphology in both groups was comparable (p = 0.323). This study demonstrates that reduction of denuded bony areas on the palate after palatal repair with a vomer flap had a favorable effect on the dental arch relationship. For palatal morphology, no effect of the type of palatal repair was found.