Complications and solutions in presurgical nasoalveolar molding therapy

Daniel Levy-Bercowski, Amara Abreu, Eladio DeLeon, Stephen Looney, John Stockstill, Michael Weiler, Pedro E. Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: To outline three main categories of nasoalveolar molding complications, describe their etiologies and manifestations, and prescribe preventive and palliative therapy for their proper management. Estimates of the incidence of each complication also are provided. Materials and Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the charts of 27 patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate treated by the first author (D.L.-B.) at the University of Puerto Rico (n = 12) and the Medical College of Georgia (n = 15). Confidence intervals for the true incidence of each complication were calculated using exact methods based on the binomial distribution. A significance level of .05 was used for all statistical tests. Results: Of the soft and hard tissue complications considered, only one (tissue irritation) had an estimated incidence greater than 10%. Compliance issues were of greater concern, with an estimated incidence of 30% for broken appointments and an estimated incidence of 26% for removal of the nasoalveolar molding appliance by the tongue. Conclusions: Although benefits outnumber the complications, it is important to address all complications in order to prevent any deleterious outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Cleft lip and/or palate
  • Complications
  • Nasoalveolar molding
  • Presurgical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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