Orthodontic Management of Cleft Lip and Palate Patient Dr. Christine Underhill
What is Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate ?
Mixed dentition, prior to ABG
Permanent dentition, with or without jaw surgery.
Orofacial clefts are the most common oro-facial anomaly in newborn infants and the second commonest congenital abnormality.
Affecting approx one in every 800 births worldwide
Non “life-threatening” abnormality, which can have significant effect on maternal bonding.
A small proportion of oro-facial clefts may be associated with a genetic syndrome
Types of Clefts
Oro-facial clefts include the cleft of the lip with or without cleft palate (CL[P]) and the isolated cleft palate (CP)
CL[P] CL[P] CP
For Clefts affecting the Lip only or Lip and Palate (CL[P]), males are more commonly affected than females (approx 2-1).
Clefts palate alone (CP) is found in approx 1 in 2000; females are more often affected than males.
CL[P] varies between different ethnic populations
Highest rates reported for Native Americans
3.6 per 1000
Lowest rates for African-Americans
0.4 per 1000
CP only is reported as being generally more stable across different ethnic populations. ( 0.6-0.8 per 1000 live births )
CL[P] and CP are developmentally and genetically different
hereditary factors appear to play a more important role in the occurrence of CL[P] and
environmental factors in that of CP
Incidence in Fiji
Not seen data for Fiji, but….Epidemiologic survey on oral diseases in Fiji. V. Incidence of the cleft lip and palate. J Osaka Univ Dent Sch. 1986 Dec;26:249-53.
Usui M , Tsunemitsu A , Sobue S , Nakagawa H , Shizukuishi S , Morisaki K , Ohmae H , Pal V .
Orofacial clefts Approx 40% presented with CP only Approx 60% presented with CL[P]
Of those with CL[P]….. approx 30% involved the lip+/-alveolus, and 70% involved lip and palate
Of those with CP..... approx 30% involved the soft palate only and 70% involved hard and soft palate
Risk Factors for Orofacial clefts
There is a known risk in taking certain types of drugs during pregnancy e.g. Phenytoin, sodium valproate, benzodiazepines and corticosteroids.
There may be a link to maternal smoking whereby the risks for clefts are increased among foetuses lacking enzymes involved in the detoxification of tobacco-derived chemicals.
Alcohol use , and specifically type, may also be a factor.
There is debate on the role of folic acid ; there may be dose dependency.
The lip has usually formed by 5-6 weeks of intrauterine life.
The palate has formed by 10 weeks
The cleft may be picked up by high resolution ultrasound at 20 weeks gestation.
Diagnosis is otherwise made after delivery.
Ultra Sound at 18th Week of Pregnancy
In facial morphogenesis , neural crest cells migrate into the facial region, where they form the skeletal and connective tissue and all dental tissues except the enamel. Vascular endothelium and muscle are of mesodermal origin (Cohen, 2000).
The upper lip is derived from medial nasal and maxillary processes.
Failure of merging between the medial nasal and maxillary processes at the fifth week of embryonic development, on one or both sides, results in CL.
CL occurs when an epithelial bridge fails, due to lack of mesodermal delivery and proliferation. CL usually occurs at the junction between the central and lateral parts of the upper lip on either side. The cleft may affect only the upper lip, or it may extend more deeply into the maxilla and the primary palate. (Cleft of the primary palate includes CL and cleft of the alveolus.)
If the fusion of palatal shelves is impaired also, the CL is accompanied by CP, forming the CLP abnormality.
In general, patients with clefts have a deficiency of tissue and not merely a displacement of normal tissue.
Clefts of the primary palate occur anterior to the incisive foramen.
Clefts of the secondary palate are due to lack of fusion of the palatal shelves, and always occur posterior to the incisive foramen
Development of the Face (I)
5 facial primordia
Paired maxillary prominences
Paired mandibular prominences
Surround primordial mouth (stomodeum)
Neural crest: source for almost all connective tissues in the face
Frontonasal prominence forms forehead and nose and a short margin of mouth
Maxillary prominences grow toward each other, pushing nasal prominences Medially
Development of the Face (II)
Medial nasal prominences merge with each other and with lateral nasal & maxillary prominences
Nasolacrimal groove: between lateral nasal and maxillary prominences
Becomes nasolacrimal duct
Merger of medial nasal prominences
Gives rise to philtrum, premaxillary bones, primary palate
From Moore, 1982
Development of the Palate: 1. Primary Palate Palatal development begins in week 5, but weeks 6-9 are most critical • Formation of intermaxillary segment from merged medial nasal prominences • Primary palate forms from median palatine process • Ossifies as the premaxillary portion of the maxilla
CP is a partial or total lack of fusion of palatal shelves.
It is thought to occur in a number of ways:
Defective growth of palatal shelves
Failure of the shelves to attain a horizontal position
Lack of contact between shelves
Rupture after fusion of shelves
The secondary palate develops from the right and left palatal processes. Fusion of palatal shelves begins at the 8th week of the foetal period and continues usually until the 12th week . One hypothesis is that a threshold exists beyond which delayed movement of palatal shelves does not allow closure to take place, and this results in a CP.
Development of the Palate: 2. Secondary Palate
Lateral palatine processes
Ingrowths from maxillary prominences
Eventually project horizontally above the tongue
Fuse with each other, primary palate and nasal septum
Downgrowth of med. nas. promin.
Fusion with lateral palatin processes starts anteriorly, then moves back
Primary palate: premaxilla
Lateral palatine processes: maxilla
Soft palate: unossified portion of lateral palatine processes
Cleft Lip and Palate patients present a multitude of problems:
Long list of list of procedures these children undergo
3-12 months repair of lip and anterior maxilla- plastic surgeon
Successful treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach
No doubt this is required.…however,
no consensus in sequence and
timing due to:
Lack of randomised clinical trials comparing outcomes, effects of timing etc
Treatment sequence and timing not always problem specific.
Orthodontic treatment:- performed at different stages of development.
Neonatal maxillary orthopaedics as an infant
Orthodontic-orthopaedics in deciduous dentition.
Orthodontics in the mixed dentition.
Orthodontics alone or in conjunction with maxillofacial surgery (+/_distraction osteogenesis) in the permanent dentition.
( Patients with cleft of lip only or soft palate only, defect will not effect dentition .)
Performed on new born before surgical repair of lip.
Rationale...realignment of the collapsed segments before surgery
Either simple passive, active orthopaedic, extra orally activated, pin retained
Considerable debate re true long-term benefits but……
Definitely makes lip and anterior palate surgery easier at the time.
Pre surgical plates, moulding plates, feeding plates…….
Feeding plates to assist in early feeding
NAM Nasoalveolar moulding
Orthodontic orthopaedic treatment in the deciduous dentition
In vicinity of cleft alveolus ….delayed eruption, malformation or absence of deciduous lateral incisor
Unilateral or bilateral cross bites often present…often associated with functional shift.
soft tissue drape often disguises skeletal defect at this stage.
Treat with expansion now.. Together with protraction headgear to ‘develop the maxilla’
Definitely effective at the time…can exhaust patient cooperation
No solid data that in the long term benefits
Mixed dentition…common since event of alveolar bone grafts (ABG)
Requires careful assessment of problem, risks and benefits
Timing of treatment closely related to timing of planed bone graft.. either before lateral incisor erupts (argued can effect maxillary growth), or before canine erupts
When root of canine 1/3 to ½ developed.
Orthodontic treatment involves expansion to develop favourable arch form, alignment .. care not to move roots into cleft defect .. correct root angulation post grafting
Repaired cleft palate in 8 year old
Quadhelix to expand prior to ABG
angle brackets to keep roots away from cleft
Alveolar bone grafting (ABG)
Provides continuity of alveolar ridge…
Provides bone for canine to erupt
Osseous support for adjacent teeth
Majority of canines erupt spontaneously…others require surgical exposure often in combination with orthodontics.
The erupting teeth often appear to then stimulate the formation of new alveolar bone
Elimination of the residual alveolar cleft by secondary bone grafting and subsequent orthodontic treatment .
Cleft Palate J. 1986 Jul;23(3):175-205 Bergland O , Semb G , Abyholm FE .
Assessed 450 grafted cleft sites.
In 292 of the cases, the canine had reached its final position in the arch, which allowed a four-group semi quantitative assessment of the newly obtained interdental septum on dental radiographs.
The best results have been achieved in cases where the bone graft was carried out prior to the eruption of the canine. In this group, a normal (category I) interdental septal height was achieved in 64%
Slightly lower (category II) interdental septal height in 32%
Interdental septal height classified as type I and II were considered to be acceptable (96%)
The cleft space was closed in 90 percent of the cases .
No significant difference between unilateral and bilateral cases was found. When the same procedure was carried out after eruption of the canine, the results were less favorable
Long-term results after secondary bone grafting of alveolar clefts
J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1987 Nov;45(11):913-9 Enemark H , Sindet -Pedersen S , Bundgaard M .
The aim of this study was longitudinally to evaluate the treatment results after secondary bone grafting in 224 cleft patients with an observation period of more than four years.
Group A included 94 patients with a mean age of 10 years, operated before eruption of the canine; group B included 72 patients with a mean age of 13.1 years operated after eruption of the canine; and group C included 58 patients operated after the age of 16 years (mean age, 20.4 years).
The evaluation of the treatment results included longitudinal comparison of marginal bone level, periodontal status on cleft-related teeth, dental status in the bone grafted region, aesthetical and functional properties of the reconstructed alveolar process, as well as the influence on growth of the maxilla.
Orthodontics in the permanent dentition
Orthodontics alone... adolescent.
Orthodontics in conjunction with orthognathic/distraction surgery... adults.
Long term retention especially important.
Long term stability of results???…
Adult treatment- Orthognathic surgery
Oro facial clefts require a multidisciplinary approach
Treatment extends over many years and risks exhausting patient cooperation
Need to keep the patients best interests in mind.
I would like to thank:
Dr Kit Chan, Consultant Orthodontist at the Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney.
Dr Peter Fowler, Consultant Orthodontist, Christchurch Hospital New Zealand.
for all their help, advise, and photo’s !
My husband and sons for teaching me how to use power point!