Orthodontic management of cleft lip and palate patients: The path to happiness
Ιoulia Ioannidou-Marathiotou and Moschos A. Papadopoulos
Treatment for patients with cleft lip and palate is a long term and complex procedure. It involves the rehabilitation of severe skeletal anomalies, bone deficiencies, malocclusions, malformations and psychological problems. Young and adolescent patients are often emotionally affected because of their appearance and the social impact in the school and their everyday life.
Treatment for patients with cleft lip and palate extends from birth to adulthood and requires a multidisciplinary team approach to restore function and aesthetics. The role of Orthodontists in cleft lip and palate treatment is paramount. It follows the child from the primary dentition stage, later during the permanent dentition and further until the end of craniofacial growth. Orthodontic intervention usually starts in the early mixed dentition preparing the maxillary arch for secondary bone graft procedure. When the permanent dentition is completed, comprehensive orthodontic treatment is performed for tooth alignment, adequate anteroposterior inter-arch relationship, and space closure or pre-surgical orthodontic preparation in cases with poor midface growth which require orthognathic surgery. It is a long and difficult road for these affected children but the road is leading to the improvement of their self-image and of their quality of life.
The aim of this lecture is to present and discuss the orthodontic involvement in the rehabilitation of cleft lip and palate patients who received treatment at the “Clinic of Craniofacial anomalies and Syndromes” of the “Postgraduate Program of Orthodontics” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.