Conventional prosthetic rehabilitation of cleft lip and palate patients: our experience

  • Piero Papi
  • Rita Giardino
  • Alessandro Silvestri
  • Stefano Di Carlo
  • Piero Cascone
  • Giorgio Pompa
Keywords: Cleft lip and palate, Prosthetic rehabilitation, Removable partial dentures, Fixed partial dentures, congenital malformation


Background: The ideal prosthetic treatment for patients with cleft lip and palate begins with closure of the cleft area via bone graft followed by an orthodontic treatment. When this is not possible, there are many prosthetic options, which can be implemented on a case-by-case basis. Conventional prosthetic treatment includes both removable partial dentures (RPDs) and fixed partial dentures (FPDs). The aim of this study is to present our experience in managing cleft lip and palate patients with conventional prosthetic treatments.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight patients were enrolled in this study, 22 female (57,89%) and 16 male (42,11%) with a mean age of 32,93±7,04 years (age range 22-55), they were all treated for cleft lip and palate and rehabilitated with conventional prostheses. The dental prostheses used, were realized in an interval of time between 2007 and 2013. Removable partial dentures (RPDs) were provided to 10 subjects, while twenty-eight received fixed partial dentures (FPDs) with dental bridges.
Results: The Prosthetic rehabilitation of cleft lip and palate patients is directly related to the dysfunctions and alterations determined by their malformation. Re-establishing aesthetics, phonetics and function are the primary goals of oral rehabilitation. Different prosthetic options, depending on dental, periodontal and bone condition can be used to achieve a proper restoration. Removable partial dentures (RPDs) are usually recommended over fixed or implant-supported dentures in patients presenting tissue deficiency, soft palate dysfunction, numerous palatal fistulas and high risk of hypernasal speech.
Fixed partial dentures (FPDs) represent a good option for prosthetic rehabilitation, especially when alveolar bone grafts fail and implant placement is not possible.
Conclusions: according to our experience, nowadays, dental implant placement is the gold standard for prosthetic treatment of cleft lip and palate patients. However, when implant treatment is not feasible, conventional prosthetic rehabilitation represents still a valuable option and leads to a proper restoration.