Analysis of primary gingivoperiosteoplasty in alveolar cleft repair. Part I: Facial growth

K O Henkel, K K Gundlach
Journal of Cranio-maxillo-facial Surgery 1997, 25 (5): 266-9
The primary gingivoperiosteoplasty by Millard consists of presurgical active orthognathic treatment ('Latham device') of the alveolar margins at the age of 3 months and of surgical closure of the alveolar cleft with local gingivoperiosteal flaps at the age of 5 months. The aim of this investigation was to analyse the facial growth following this treatment. The following material was studied: lateral head X-rays and plaster casts from 146 patients with unilateral (UCLP) and bilateral (BCLP) clefts of lip and palate from birth to 16 years of age. Ninety-one of these patients formed the control group, who received neither gingivoperiosteoplasty nor pre-surgical active orthognathic treatment. The same surgeon and orthodontist treated all 146 patients. A three-dimensional growth disturbance after gingivoperiosteoplasty was observed: 42% patients with UCLP and 40% patients with BCLP had an 'open bite' following closure of the alveolar cleft (control group 5%/10%). The length of the upper jaw in patients who underwent gingivoperiosteoplasty was shorter than in the control group. The frequency of posterior cross bite was also higher in the gingivoperiosteoplasty group. These results demonstrate that treatment with a 'Latham device' disturbs facial growth. Therefore, this treatment should be abandoned.

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