Cleft management is an exhaustive process for the patient, the orthodontist, and the caregiver. In recent decades, a wide number of challenges have been addressed with the inclusion of various dental specialties for the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of orofacial clefts. The orthodontist plays a very pivotal role during the overall management of children with cleft lip and palate as they need to make critical decisions for when to intervene orthodontically and at what stage to set priorities for individual treatment goals.


The objectives of this study were to provide an in-depth review of the evolving role of various disciplines focusing on orthodontics in the management of cleft cases.


A general search was carried out to identify the published data on cleft lip and cleft palate management on PubMed and Scopus until the 1st of June 2021 using keywords such as cleft lip, cleft palate, cleft orthodontics, naso-alveolar molding, and surgical cleft orthodontics. The related literature was then reviewed and analyzed.


With improvements in 3D modeling, CT scans of patients can be used to construct precise 3D models, and these can be utilized to demonstrate various clinical issues related to clefts. The orthodontist has a major role in the various stages and steps, follow-up, treatment care, and outcome assessment. With the advent of technological advancements and artificial intelligence, the role is only going to evolve and expand further in the management of the cleft lip and palate. Diagnostic techniques utilizing artificial intelligence to detect cleft during the prenatal period have also been tested and have been shown to have a high rate of accuracy. The evolution of distraction osteogenesis came into the limelight as a revolutionary modality for cleft treatment. Computer-assisted orthognathic surgery is a widely used modality for reshaping the osseous defects of the maxilla in patients with congenital clefts. With the development of additional modalities such as aligners, patients that need to undergo complex orthognathic surgeries can also be treated with aligners without compromising the outcomes.


The cleft lip and palate can be managed by a multi-disciplinary team. Orthodontics has an important role in the overall management of a cleft affected individual as they must make critical decisions regarding orthodontic interventions as well as set priorities for each treatment goal. With the advent of technological advancements and artificial intelligence, the diagnosis and management of the cleft lip and palate have become simplified.

Keywords: Orthodontic care, Artificial intelligence, Cleft lip and palate patients, Oral health, Palate, CT scans.
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