Orthodontic Treatment of Patients With Clefts: Satisfaction and Psychological Aspects

Olga Forer, Erica Cohen, Yocheved Ben-Bassat, Avraham Zini, Miriam Shalish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective : To assess parents’ satisfaction with cleft child's facial appearance and function; compare these findings with orthodontist (expert) satisfaction and evaluate influence of various factors on satisfaction. Design : Cross-sectional study. Methods : Sixty-three parents of non-syndromic patients with clefts (ages 7-20 years), and an orthodontist, completed the Cleft Hearing, Appearance and Speech Questionnaire. Two scores were produced: cleft-associated, and non-cleft-associated features. Additional open questions were presented to the parents. Results : Both parents and orthodontist gave high satisfaction scores (mean: 8.4 & 8.2, respectively), significantly correlated, for the cleft-associated features (P <.001). Parents were least satisfied with appearance of teeth, then nose, then lips. Scores did not vary significantly with age and sex of patients. Higher parents’ satisfaction was found in the unilateral cleft lip + alveolus (UCL + alveolus) group, compared with the unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), regarding cleft-associated features, and compared with cleft palate (CP), regarding non-cleft-associated features (P <.05). Greater parents and orthodontist satisfaction were found when parents’ education was >12 years. Parents of Jewish ethnicity showed higher satisfaction, compared with parents of non-Jewish ethnicity. Patients requiring future surgery received lower scores. Parents satisfaction was directly correlated to socioeconomic status. Conclusions : The following factors appear to lower parents’ satisfaction: [1] cleft severity, [2] hearing or speech of CP/BCLP patients, [3] requirement for further surgery, and [4] low socioeconomic status. Clinical implications : Severe cases may require additional explanation to parents in order to lower expectations. A more thorough explanation may be required in patients of lower socioeconomic status.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1149-1156
Number of pages8
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.


  • appearance satisfaction
  • cleft lip and palate
  • orthodontics
  • parents
  • patients


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