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Background: Cervical vertebral maturation (CVM) and dental age assessment are two common growth prediction methods. Even though the development of cervical vertebrae and dentition in cleft lip and palate (CLP) patients was reported to be different from non-cleft patients, both of CVM and dental age has never been investigated in Thai cleft patients. Objective: This study aimed to compare the mandibular third molar dental age and CVM stage between Thai cleft and non-cleft patients. Materials and methods: Two hundred and eighty-four orthodontic patients aged 7-13 years old were divided into two groups: (1) non-syndromic unilateral or bilateral complete CLP patients and (2) non-cleft patients as the control group. The panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiographs were examined. Dental ages from either the left or right mandibular third molar, CVM in cervical stages, and chronological ages of the subjects were recorded. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic data and the independent t-test was used to compare the dental ages and chronological ages at each stage of CVM between the cleft and non-cleft groups. Results: All patients, male and female, demonstrated a statistically significantly younger chronological age at cervical stage 2 and 4 (CS2 and CS4) than the non-cleft group. The female cleft group and all patients in the cleft group at 7-8 years old had statistically significantly younger third molar age than the non-cleft group. Conclusion: At 7-8 years old, the cleft patients showed statistically significantly delayed development of mandibular third molars and faster CVM at CS2 and CS4 than the non-cleft group.
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