This study was performed to observe the alveolar molding (AM) effect and growth of unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) patients using 3-dimensional (3D) analysis.
The sample consisted of 16 Korean UCLP infants who were treated using presurgical nasoalveolar molding (PNAM) appliance and rotation-advancement cheiloplasty. The maxillary models were obtained at the initial visit, after PNAM treatment 1 month before cheiloplasty, and 2 months after cheiloplasty.
The cleft gap was reduced by AM of the greater segment (GS) during PNAM treatment and of the anterior alveolar segments (AAS) through lip pressure after cheiloplasty. Although forward growth of GS was restrained by the PNAM treatment, it resumed after cheiloplasty. The amount of increase in the area and distance variables were largest in the posterior alveolar segments (PAS) only after cheiloplasty.
Alveolar molding took place mainly in AAS during PNAM treatment, and growth occurred mainly in PAS after cheiloplasty.