Objective To compare the upper arch dimensions of young patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) before and after treatment with bonded maxillary expander and hybrid activation protocol using digital dental casts.
Methods Sixteen subjects with UCLP, aged between 7 and 14 years (mean age 10.9 ± 2.7 years) consecutively treated with bonded maxillary expander and hybrid activation were included. The dental casts before and after treatment were digitalized using a 3Shape scanner. Intercanine, interpremolar and intermolar widths (at cusp and gingival levels) and arch perimeters were measured. The significance level for statistical analyses was set as p < 0.05.
Results The total treatment time using the hybrid expansion protocol lasted 12 ± 1.9 months while the active expansion time lasted 4 ± 0.2 months. Patients with UCLP showed significant differences in all transverse upper arch dimensions both at cusp and gingival level.
Conclusion The use of a bonded maxillary expander with a hybrid activation protocol during growth may be efficient to improve all transverse upper arch widths in patients affected by UCLP.
Cleft Lip and Palate; Maxillary Expansion; Bonded Expander; Hybrid Expansion Protocol; Digital Dental Casts.