Factors contributing to delay or absence of alveolar bone grafting

Kristin D. Pfeifauf, Danielle C. Cooper, Ella Gibson, Gary B. Skolnick, Sybill D. Naidoo, Alison K. Snyder-Warwick, Kamlesh B. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Alveolar bone grafting (ABG) delay can lead to suboptimal outcomes. This study seeks to categorize reasons patients with cleft lip and palate have no record of ABG or who underwent later than typical ABG (≥13 years). Methods: At a single tertiary care center, a retrospective review was performed of all patients with unilateral, complete cleft lip and palate, born 1998-2005. Database query identified which patients had timely, late, or no record of ABG. The retrospective cohort study was performed to categorize ABG delay or absence of recorded ABG. Results: Of 135 participants, 82 (61%) had timely, 8 (6%) had late, and 45 (33%) had no record of ABG. The primary factor for late ABG was noncompliance or refusal (n = 5 of 8, 63%), comorbidity or medical complexity (n = 1 of 8, 13%), orthodontic unpreparedness (n = 1 of 8, 13%), or inaccurate prior assessment of alveolar sufficiency (n = 1 of 8, 13%). The primary factor for ABG record absence was loss to follow-up (n = 40 of 45, 89%), noncompliance or refusal (n = 3 of 45, 7%), comorbidity or medical complexity (n = 1 of 45, 2%), or orthodontic unpreparedness (n = 1 of 45, 2%). Racial majority (White, Asian) patients received preferred care (timely ABG or medically appropriate absence or delay) at a significantly higher rate (67%) than underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic, Native American, other) (35%, P = 0.016). Families with private insurance and those who were self-pay received preferred care at a significantly higher rate (77%) than families with Medicaid (42%) (P <0.001). Conclusions: The high number of patients lost to follow-up highlights the impact of poor retention on ABG completion. Possible health disparities based on race and insurance status warrant clinical focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-828.e1
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


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