Complications and solutions in presurgical nasoalveolar molding therapy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


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.


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.


Although benefits outnumber the complications, it is important to address all complications in order to prevent any deleterious outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Levy-Bercowski, D; Abreu, A; DeLeon, E; Looney, S; Stockstill, J; Weiler, M; Santiago, PE

Published Date

  • September 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 521 - 528

PubMed ID

  • 19929090

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-1569

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1055-6656

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1597/07-236.1


  • eng