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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1999 Sep;36(5):391-7.

Long-term effects of nasoalveolar molding on three-dimensional nasal shape in unilateral clefts.

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Clinical Surgery (Orthodontics), Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016, USA.



This objective of this study was to determine the effect of presurgical nasoalveolar molding on long-term nasal shape in complete unilateral clefts.


The study was retrospective, and the subjects were chosen at random. Nasal casts of the subjects were scanned in three dimensions. Each nose was best fit to its mirror image, and a numerical asymmetry score was determined.


All patients were treated at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, NYU Medical Center, New York, New York.


The study subjects (n = 10) were selected from a group that had undergone presurgical nasal molding in conjunction with alveolar molding. The control subjects (n = 10) were selected from a group that had undergone presurgical alveolar molding alone.


All subjects underwent presurgical orthopedic treatment until the age of approximately 4 months at which time the primary surgery was performed.


The nasal shape following nasal molding should be more symmetrical than if molding had not been done.


The mean asymmetry index for the nasoalveolar molding group was 0.74, and the control group was 1.21. This difference was statistically significant (p < .05).


Presurgical nasoalveolar molding significantly increases the symmetry of the nose. The increase in symmetry is maintained long term into early childhood. The limitations of this study include (1) asymmetry alone is not an adequate shape result in most situations, (2) the children evaluated in this study were not fully grown, and (3) the control group was not age matched.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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