After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Identify the skeletal changes in the cleft patient that necessitate surgery. 2. Describe the orthodontic principles that precede surgical treatment. 3. Demonstrate the surgical principles involved in cleft orthognathic surgery and how to avoid common pitfalls particular to cleft orthognathic surgery. 4. Anticipate when dentoalveolar distraction can help in the treatment of problems not easily treated with conventional orthognathic techniques.
This CME article covers the basic multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of patients requiring a combined orthodontic orthognathic approach to their skeletally based malocclusion. The dentoskeletal abnormalities are described for these patients, as are the fundamental orthodontic principles in the presurgical treatment of these patients. The basic surgical principles are discussed in general, and the reader is provided with advice on avoiding common pitfalls. Specific attention is given to the more recent advances in dentoalveolar distraction in cases of large defects that would have been difficult to treat using conventional orthognathic surgery. Videos are provided to illustrate the general principles in treating the cleft orthognathic patient and to illustrate the treatment of large defects using dentoalveolar distraction.