Compensations in bone morphology and the dentition in patients with untreated unilateral cleft lip and palate: A cone- beam computed tomographic analysis

McKenzie E. Woods, Cynthia S. Beeman, Philip M. Westgate, Lucas Cardinal, Sarandeep S. Huja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess dentoalveolar and skeletal compensations in patients with untreated unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP). We hypothesized that there are significant skeletal and dental adaptations in UCLP cases compared to a comparison maxillary crossbite group. Design: A convenience retrospective sample of 30 patients with UCLP and a comparison group of 30 patients with unilateral posterior crossbite without CLP. Cone-beam computed tomography scans (CBCTs) were used to evaluate dental and skeletal compensations. In addition, alveolar bone thickness was measured at 2-mm increments in mesiodistal and faciolingual crosssectional views along the long axis of the central incisors. Alveolar bone height was measured, and the percentage of root length supported by bone was calculated. Results: Compensations for unilateral cleft lip and palate were restricted to the cleft site and adjacent structures. Dental compensations include alteration in the position of cleft-adjacent maxillary incisors and maxillary canines. No gross skeletal compensations were found. Alveolar support of cleft adjacent incisors was similar to controls except for measurements in the most coronal and apical regions. The cleft group contralateral incisors exhibited buttressing effects and had significantly higher alveolar thickness in the coronal half of the tooth. There was less (5%) alveolar coverage of the cleft-facing aspect of the central incisor root than all other incisors. Conclusion: The bone adaptation to the presence of a cleft was localized in the vicinity of the cleft, and adaptations in the mandible were not apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1366
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.


  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Cone beam computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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