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Three-Dimensional Soft-Tissue Evaluation in Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate

Selin Alpagan Ozdemir, Elçin Esenlik

(Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:8608-8620

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912305

BACKGROUND: In cleft lip and palate (CLP) patients, the shape of the facial soft tissues shows variety in 3 dimensions (3D). Two-dimensional (2D) photographs and radiographs are insufficient in the examination of these anomalies. The aim of this retrospective study was to examine the soft tissue and craniofacial characteristics of individuals with nonsyndromic unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP), skeletal Class III malocclusions, or skeletal Class I malocclusions using 3D facial imaging.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The entire study group consisted of a total of 158 patients, aged 8–32 years: 29 of the patients had UCLP, 22 BCLP, 54 had skeletal Class III malocclusions, and 53 had skeletal Class I malocclusions. 3D stereophotogrammetric soft-tissue recordings of all patients were analyzed. ANOVA and the Kruskal-Wallis test were performed to compare the groups.
RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were observed among the groups in terms of linear, angular, proportional. and volumetric measurements. While nasal differences were not observed in the Class III group, nose and upper-lip deformities were common in the CLP groups. Upper-lip projection was reduced in all 3 groups. In the Class III patients, the lower lip and chin were more prominent than in the other groups. The facial convexity angle was increased in the CLP and Class III groups. The upper-lip volume was decreased in the BCLP, the UCLP, and the Class III groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with skeletal Class III or CLP anomalies showed significantly different soft-tissue characteristics than the Class I control group. 3D stereophotogrammetric facial imaging is an easy and noninvasive method that can be used in examination and recording of these facial deformities. It is possible to make volumetric measurements using this method.

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