Reducing the burden of orthodontic care for children with clefts: evaluating the effectiveness of pre-alveolar bone graft orthodontics in unilateral non-syndromic cleft patients (PABO study)- A study protocol for a multicentric randomised controlled trial

Trials. 2021 Aug 28;22(1):572. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05505-0.


Background: An alveolar cleft commonly affects 75% of cleft lip and palate patients. While it is common practice to provide a course of orthodontic treatment before alveolar bone grafting, there are no previous high-quality studies reporting on the benefits of this type of treatment.

Aim: The aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of pre-alveolar bone graft orthodontics for unilateral non-syndromic cleft palate patients.

Method: The PABO trial is a multicentric, parallel, two-arm, single-blinded randomised controlled trial. The inclusion criteria include unilateral cleft alveolus patients requiring bone graft and between the age group of 8 and 13 years with erupted upper central incisors. Participants will be recruited at three centres across India. Participants will be randomised to orthodontic treatment or no orthodontic treatment group. Both groups of participants will have alveolar bone graft surgery and will be followed up for 6 months after surgery. The primary outcome will be the success of the alveolar bone graft measured by anterior oblique radiograph and secondary outcomes include quality of life, cost analysis and quality of the dento-occlusal outcome. Data analysis will be carried out by an independent statistician at the end of the study.

Discussion: This study is the first to evaluate the effect of orthodontics on alveolar bone graft success. The increased burden of care for these patients with multiple treatments required from multiple specialists from birth to adult life highlights the need for reducing unnecessary treatment provision.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials Registry - India, CTRI/2020/10/028756 . Trial prospectively registered on 29 October 2020. .

Keywords: Alveolar bone graft. ABG; Cleft alveolus; Cleft orthodontics; Cleft palate; Pre alveolar bone graft; Pregraft orthodontics; SABG.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alveolar Bone Grafting*
  • Child
  • Cleft Lip* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cleft Lip* / surgery
  • Cleft Palate* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cleft Palate* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Orthodontics*
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic