In 1990, Drs Millard and Latham published their initial experience with dynamic maxillary appliances (DMAs) and periosteoplasty for children with cleft lip and palate. The technique provided for alveolar alignment and consolidation, with elimination of oronasal fistulas. Opponents to this approach speculated about impairments to facial growth. To date no longitudinal studies have been published. Over the last 10 years, 35 unilateral and 10 bilateral complete clefts have been treated with this technique. All patients have been followed and documented clinically, orthodontically, and radiographically. Cephalometric analyses were performed on children after the age of 6 years. The children have excellent facial aesthetics with well-balanced lips and noses. Radiographs demonstrate bone within the repaired alveolar clefts. Articulated impressions show anterior and lateral crossbites in the unilateral patients that improve over time and appear to be correctable orthodontically. The bilateral patients have satisfactory occlusions and arch forms. Cephalometric analyses confirmed no evidence of skeletal crossbites or midfacial growth retardation. This is a work in progress that will continue as the children grow. Although definite and final conclusions would be premature, it can be stated that to date all patients are following consistent and favorable growth patterns. Our team is confident in proceeding with this technique.
Lukash FN, Schwartz M, Grauer S, Tuminelli F. Dynamic cleft maxillary orthopedics and periosteoplasty: benefit or detriment? Ann Plast Surg 1998;40:321-327