Alveolar bone grafting in the treatment of midline alveolar cleft and diastema in incomplete median cleft lip

H. T. Liao, C. H. Chen, L. Bergeron, E. W.C. Ko, P. K.T. Chen, Y. R. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Median cleft lip is a rare congenital anomaly. The wide diastema with mesial tipping observed in these patients has been largely overlooked. A midline submucosal alveolar cleft prevents adequate treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe an alveolar bone grafting (ABG) technique used in the combined surgical-orthodontic approach to diastema treatment in patients presenting with incomplete median cleft lip. Patients treated for incomplete median cleft lip and diastema were identified in the clinic registry from 1981 to 2007. Six patients were identified; 4 underwent ABG before permanent maxillary incisor eruption, the other 2 were seen later when they were 11 years old. All 6 ABGs were successful. The incisors erupted through the graft or were successfully moved into it with lasting results. Follow-up ranged from 8 to 21 years. The existence of a midline submucosal alveolar cleft and subsequent diastema should be recognized and addressed in all patients who present with incomplete median cleft lip repair. This includes taking maxillary occlusal view X-rays before the age of 5 years to detect the cleft, and proceed to ABG if necessary, generally before permanent maxillary incisor eruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-891
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • alveolar bone graft
  • diastema
  • median cleft lip
  • submucosal alveolar cleft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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