Dental implant placement in alveolar cleft patients: a retrospective comparative study on clinical and aesthetic outcomes

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The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the clinical and aesthetic outcomes, and patient satisfaction, following dental implant therapy in cleft patients. Implant survival, changes in marginal bone level, pocket probing depths, plaque and bleeding indices, aesthetics, and patient satisfaction were assessed in 17 alveolar cleft patients and 17 matched controls. At follow-up (mean 72.4 +/- 46.4 months), one implant had been lost in the cleft group. Mean marginal bone loss at follow-up was -0.4 +/- 0.4 mm in cleft patients and -0.2 +/- 0.4 mm in controls. Aesthetics of the peri-implant soft tissues (pink aesthetic score) were less favourable (P = 0.025) in cleft patients (5.0 +/- 1.9) than in controls (6.5 +/- 1.7), while peri-implant parameters were comparable in the two groups. Overall patient satisfaction was 8.6 +/- 0.9 in cleft patients and 8.9 +/- 1.1 in controls (P = 0.331). In cleft patients, no difference in aesthetics was observed between patients who received additional bone augmentation at 3 months prior to implant placement and those who did not (P = 0.092). Dental implant therapy in cleft patients is associated with high implant survival, minor marginal bone loss, healthy peri-implant soft tissues, and high patient satisfaction. Only the aesthetics of the soft tissues was worse in cleft patients compared to augmented non-cleft patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-959
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date22-Feb-2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2020


  • cleft lip palate
  • alveolar bone grafting
  • dental implants
  • single tooth
  • aesthetics
  • patient satisfaction
  • LIP

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