Three-dimensional morphology of the palate in subjects with unilateral complete cleft lip and palate at the stage of permanent dentition.

The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association

PubMedID: 15298002

Smahel Z, Trefný P, Formánek P, Müllerová Z, Peterka M. Three-dimensional morphology of the palate in subjects with unilateral complete cleft lip and palate at the stage of permanent dentition. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2004;41(4):416-23.
OBJECTIVE
Three-dimensional analysis of palate size and shape in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) at the stage of permanent dentition.

SUBJECTS
Thirty randomly selected dental casts of boys approximately 15 years old with complete UCLP and 28 dental casts of normal boys of the same age.

INTERVENTIONS
All patients underwent lip repair according to Tennison with primary periosteoplasty (mean age 8.5 months) and palate repair by pushback and pharyngeal flap surgery (mean age 4.9 years).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Data on the palate height in 210 defined locations.

RESULTS
The palate in patients with UCLP was narrower throughout its whole extent, more anteriorly than posteriorly. From the canines posteriorly, it was also lower, and the difference as compared with controls increased in a posterior direction up to the level of second premolars (up to 30%) and then slightly diminished (to 21% between the first molars). The reduction of area of transverse sections reached 45% between premolars and 39% between first molars. The palate in the anterior portion was highest on the cleft side and in a posterior direction the maximum height of the palate shifted toward the midline and even beyond that line toward the noncleft side. Palatal height did not depend on dentoalveolar arch width.

CONCLUSION
The smaller width and height of the palate confirm the substantially reduced space for the tongue in patients with UCLP. The reduction is only slightly larger than in previously examined patients with isolated cleft palate. Palatal vault is asymmetrical, highest anteriorly on the cleft side and posteriorly on the noncleft side.