Maxillary growth in patients with clefts following secondary alveolar bone grafting

T Levitt, R E Long, C A Trotman
Cleft Palate-craniofacial Journal 1999, 36 (5): 398-406

OBJECTIVE: This investigation evaluated the effects of secondary alveolar bone grafting on subsequent maxillary growth in cleft patients.

DESIGN: This was a retrospective longitudinal cephalometric study. Nineteen patients who had received secondary alveolar bone grafts were matched to a control sample by sex, cleft, availability of longitudinal records, and presurgical cranial base dimensions and growth direction. All patients had at least two lateral cephalometric radiographs before surgery and two radiographs after surgery.

SETTING: The records were obtained from the Longitudinal Growth Study of the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Cleft Palate Clinic.

INTERVENTIONS: All patients had received similar primary surgical procedures by the same surgeon, no orthopedics, and similar mixed-dentition orthodontics. Secondary alveolar bone grafting was the only surgical intervention different between the two groups.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Six measures of maxillary sagittal and vertical growth were taken from 235 radiographs. Slopes of the regression lines for each growth dimension were compared between groups both pre- and postsurgically.

RESULTS: There were no significant between-group differences in maxillary sagittal or vertical growth following the grafting procedure. Anterior maxillary vertical growth rates decreased in the grafted group when their pre- and postsurgical rates were compared. Several growth trends in the postsurgical period were found to be continuations of the rates documented presurgically and unrelated to the grafting procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: When evaluated longitudinally, maxillary growth in patients having received secondary alveolar bone grafting did not differ from a group of matched controls.

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