Introduction: Cleft Lip and Palate (CLAP) is one of the most frequent craniofacial anomalies. The management of patients with CLAP requires several repair procedures for the soft palate, the primary and secondary bony palate, the alveolar ridge, the lips and the nose. These patients often present with a maxillary transverse deficit responsible for maxillary endognathy which must be corrected for a harmonious development of the maxillomandibular complex. The objective of our work was to evaluate the efficacy of slow, rapid and surgical maxillary expansion in patients with sequelae of CLAP following a systematic review protocol.
Materials and methods: Four databases were searched: PubMed / MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, Cochrane Library and EBSCOhost, using the keywords present in the MeSH according to the equation [Maxillary expansion] AND [Cleft lip and palate]. The selection of articles included all studies published since January 2010 and for which the full text is available, such as meta-analyzes, randomized and non-randomized controlled clinical trials, case-control studies and prospective and retrospective studies.
Results: Among 1107 references only 8 studies met our inclusion criteria. Following analysis of these, we concluded that there is no significant difference between rapid maxillary expansion and slow maxillary expansion in patients with unilateral CLAP, the expansion observed on the side of the cleft is larger than that seen on the healthy side. Surgically assisted expansion is much more reserved for subjects at the end of growth, having unilateral or bilateral CLAP and presenting anterior or posterior lateral crossbones. The results of our systematic review also showed that maxillary expansion in patients with CLAP results in substantial dentoalveolar compensation.
Conclusion: The efficacy of maxillary expansion in patients with sequelae of CLAP is real and alone in some cases allows the restoration of a normal transverse dimension; sometimes in combination with maxillary protraction to correct the anteroposterior deficit.