Transverse Dimension of Maxillary Arch in 5-Year-Old Children with Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate: A Retrospective Study

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Nantarat Winij
Natthawee Phaoseree
Kemporn Kitsahawong
Porntip Phajongviriyatorn
Patimaporn Pungchanchaikul


Hypoplastic and distorted maxilla in children with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLCP) has always been a challenge feature for orthodontic rehabilitation. Series of orthodontic and surgical collection took place over span of 20 years. Morphology of malformed arch in the early stage influenced the later treatment options greatly. This study aimed to present characteristics of maxillary arch in transverse dimension of 5-year-old, UCLCP children, and to compare those in the cleft side to the non-cleft counterpart. Measurements were performed on 55 dental models of maxillary arch which were mature primary dentition, belonged to non-syndromic UCLCP children selected from the Khon Kaen University (KKU) Cleft Center’s archive since 2002-2020.  The measurement included intercanine width, intermolar width at primary first molars (D) and second molars (E) levels, arch height and arch perimeter by only one researcher (Intraclass correlation coefficient =0.96). Analysis of the whole arch showed the mean values (SD) in millimeters, including the intercanine width =28.86 (3.37); intermolar width-D =33.42 (2.75) and -E =39.73 (2.31); arch height =14.11 (2.23), and arch perimeter =68.35 (6.09). The comparison of arch dimensions between the cleft side and non-cleft side, means of intermolar width at both D and E levels were significantly wider (Wilcoxon signed rank test; p<0.01). Similarly, significantly larger of the mean arch perimeter was observed on the cleft side (Paired t-test; p=0.01, 95% CI: 0.23-1.64). There was no significant difference of means of the intercanine width and arch height between both sides. Results demonstrated that at this stage of full primary-dentition, arch dimensions of the cleft side appeared to be, at least, comparable to the non-cleft side. The significantly wider transverse dimension observed in the posterior section might contribute to the larger arch perimeter of the cleft side. Our findings suggested that maxillary arch collapse in the transverse plane was not obvious at this stage. 


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Winij N, Phaoseree N, Kitsahawong K, Phajongviriyatorn P, Pungchanchaikul P. Transverse Dimension of Maxillary Arch in 5-Year-Old Children with Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate: A Retrospective Study. Khon Kaen Dent J [Internet]. 2022 Jul. 11 [cited 2022 Dec. 5];25(2):93-101. Available from:
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