OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare differences in the maxillary transverse dimension following cleft repair using 2 protocols involving a 2-staged palatal closure with similar timing but different techniques.
DESIGN: Retrospective study. Two matched study samples, each containing 10 patients.
SETTING: Cleft center A is a university hospital. Cleft Center B is a general teaching hospital.
PATIENTS: Patients with cleft lip alveolus and palate (CLAP) were matched by cleft type, gender, age, and palatal morphology at the age of 1 month. Differences in the transverse dimension were measured at 4 ages in 2 matched groups (A and B from center A and B), each including 5 patients with unilateral CLAP (UCLAP) and 5 patients with bilateral CLAP (BCLAP).
INTERVENTIONS: Orthodontic/orthopedic expansion treatment began at 8 and 5 years of age at centers A and B, respectively.
RESULTS: The mean intercanine distance decreased by 8 mm (standard deviation [SD] = 1.6; P = .030) in group A patients with UCLAP between 1 and 5 years (SD = 1.6; P = .030) and by 6.3 mm (SD = 3.2; P = .016) in group B patients with BCLAP. The mean intermolar distance increased by 4 mm (SD = 3.4; P = .076) in patients with BCLAP. A trend toward improved canine positioning was observed in patients with BCLAP by 12 years of age, with improvement occurring between 4 and 12 years.
CONCLUSION: The type of palatal closure (inducing scar tissue at the bony level) and the late installment of orthodontic/orthopedic expansion probably reduced the intercanine width in bilateral complete clefts.