JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Nasoalveolar molding and gingivoperiosteoplasty versus alveolar bone graft: an outcome analysis of costs in the treatment of unilateral cleft alveolus.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the financial impact of two treatment approaches to the unilateral cleft alveolus. The recently advocated nasoalveolar molding (NAM; and gingivoperiosteoplasty (GPP; at the time of lip repair were compared with the traditional approach of secondary alveolar bone graft.

DESIGN: The records of all patients (n = 30) with unilateral cleft lip and alveolus treated by a single surgeon during 1985 through 1988 were examined retrospectively. The patients were divided into two groups: group 1 patients (n = 14) were treated by lip repair, primary nasal repair, and secondary alveolar bone graft prior to eruption of permanent dentition; group 2 patients (n = 16) were treated by NAM, GPP, lip repair, and primary nasal repair. Patients who required secondary alveolar bone graft after GPP were noted. The cost of treatment by each protocol was calculated in 1998 dollars.

RESULTS: The average cost of treatment for a patient treated by lip repair, primary nasal repair, and secondary alveolar bone graft prior to eruption of permanent dentition was $22,744. Of the 16 patients treated by NAM, GPP, lip repair, and primary nasal repair, 10 required no further treatment of the unilateral cleft alveolus; six patients required secondary alveolar bone graft. The average per-patient treatment cost in this group was $19,745. The average cost savings of NAM and GPP, compared with alveolar bone graft is $2999.

CONCLUSIONS: The treatment of unilateral cleft alveolus by nasoalveolar molding and gingivoperiosteoplasty results in substantial cost savings, compared with treatment by secondary alveolar bone graft.

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