Secondary alveolar bone grafting: outcomes, revisions, and new applications

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2009 Nov;46(6):610-2. doi: 10.1597/08-126.1. Epub 2009 May 19.


Introduction: Cleft lip and palate deformities are one of the most common birth defects. The alveolar cleft requires bony repair to allow proper eruption of dentition. The purpose of this study is to evaluate success in the repair of alveolar clefts and examine whether the addition of allogenic materials improves outcomes.

Materials and methods: One hundred three patients with cleft lip and palate were identified retrospectively after institutional review board approval was obtained. The authors reviewed their medical records, surgical complication rate, need for revision surgery, and whether allogenic materials were used. The data were then compared using analysis of variance.

Results: The average patient age was 16.6 years (range, 7 to 25 years). There were 59% unilateral clefts and 41% bilateral clefts identified. The average age at palate repair was 17.5 months. The average age at alveolar bone grafting (ABG) was 8.9 years (range, 5 to 15 years). Allogenic material was used in 22 primary ABGs and 10 revision ABGs. The revision rate of unilateral ABGs was 18%, which was statistically different from the 32% revision rate of bilateral ABGs. The use of allogenic material during ABG repair did not affect the revision rate.

Conclusion: Secondary alveolar bone grafting is necessary for complete rehabilitation of the cleft alveolus. The patients undergoing ABG had an overall 23% revision rate, 18% for unilateral and 32% for bilateral clefts. The use of allogenic materials during ABG did not show a statistical benefit in this study, but future review including more patients may be useful.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alveolar Process / surgery*
  • Bone Matrix / transplantation*
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Child
  • Cleft Lip / surgery*
  • Cleft Palate / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome