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Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Feb;41(2):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Photographs of dental casts or digital models: rating dental arch relationships in bilateral cleft lip and palate.

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Department of Orthodontics and Craniofacial Biology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Yardsticks have been developed to measure dental arch relations in cleft lip and palate (CLP) patients as diagnostic proxies for the underlying skeletal relationship. Travelling with plaster casts to compare results between CLP centres is inefficient so the aim of this study was to investigate the reliability of using digital models or photographs of dental casts instead of plaster casts for rating dental arch relationships in children with complete bilateral cleft lip and palate (CBCLP). Dental casts of children with CBCLP (n=20) were included. Plaster casts, digital models and photographs of the plaster casts were available for all the children at 6, 9, and 12 years of age. All three record formats were scored using the bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP) yardstick by four observers in random order. No significant differences were found for the BCLP yardstick scores among the three formats. The interobserver weighted kappa scores were between 0.672 and 0.934. Comparison between the formats per observer resulted in weighted kappa scores between 0.692 and 0.885. It is concluded that digital models and photographs of dental casts can be used for rating dental arch relationships in patients with CBCLP. These formats are a reliable alternative for BCLP yardstick assessments on conventional plaster casts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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