Mesial and distal alveolar bone morphology in maxillary canines moved into the grafted alveolar cleft: Computed tomography evaluation

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The aims of this study were to qualitatively assess the mesial and distal alveolar bone of maxillary canines mesially moved to replace absent lateral incisors in patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate after secondary alveolar bone graft and to assess the reproducibility of the proposed cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) method.


The sample comprised CBCT examinations of 30 patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate from 1 center. CBCT images were taken at least 6 months after comprehensive orthodontic treatment. The noncleft side was used as the control group. Using axial sections, scores from 0 to 4 (bone absence to complete bone filling, respectively) were given to the mesial and distal alveolar bones of the maxillary canines. Interexaminer and intraexaminer reproducibility was assessed using kappa statistics. Intergroup comparisons were performed using Wilcoxon tests.


Interexaminer and intraexaminer agreement was excellent. Intergroup comparison identified smaller scores at the cervical and middle root levels of the cleft side mesial alveolar bone of the maxillary canines. At the cleft side, 85 mesial sites showed favorable scores (3 or 4); 1 had a score of 1, and 4 had scores of 2. At the distal surface, 78 sites were evaluated, and only 1 site received a score of 1. The noncleft side had scores of 4 for all sites.


The new CBCT scale showed good reproducibility. CBCT axial sections are reliable for a qualitative appraisal of alveolar bone in a grafted alveolar cleft. Mesial bone defects can be observed in maxillary canines moved into grafted areas after comprehensive orthodontic treatment, especially at the cervical root half.

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