Background: Secondary alveolar bone grafting has been widely used to reconstruct alveolar cleft. However, there is still some controversy.
Objectives: To compare the effectiveness and safety of different secondary bone grafting methods.
Search strategy: The final electronic and handsearches were carried out on 11 February 2011, and included the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database and WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. All the Chinese professional journals in the oral and dental field were handsearched and conference proceedings consulted. There was no language or time restriction.
Selection criteria: Only randomized clinical trials were selected. Patients with the diagnosis of cleft lip and alveolar process only, unilateral cleft lip and palate and bilateral cleft lip and palate involving the alveolar process and greater than 5 years of age were included.
Data collection and analysis: Two review authors extracted data and assessed the quality of included studies independently. Disagreement between the two review authors was resolved by discussion in the review team. The first authors of the included studies were contacted for additional information, if necessary.
Main results: Two of 582 potential studies met the inclusion criteria and were included. One trial compared alveolar bone grafting using artificial materials (InFuse bone graft substitute impregnated with BMP-2) with a traditional iliac graft. The other trial investigated the application of fibrin glue to the bone graft. Both trials were small with 21 and 27 patients and were assessed as being at high risk of bias. Any apparent differences between the interventions for outcomes in either study must therefore be treated with great caution and are not highlighted here.
Authors' conclusions: Due to the high level of risk of bias in the two included trials there is insufficient evidence to conclude that one intervention is superior to another.