Baltic Dental and Maxillofacial Journal
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2023, Vol. 25, No. 1


© 2023 Stomatologija

Stomatologija 2023; 25 (1): 3-10 191 KB

Pilot study: Correlation between nasalance scores and cephalometric parameters in Estonian cleft palate children

Lagle Lehes1, Carina Aria2, Marika Padrik2, Priit Kasenõmm3, Triin Jagomägi1


Background and objective. According to Klassen et al. (2012), the overall quality of life of CL/P children is most affected by appearance and quality of speech, as these differences are most noticeable to others. To what extent changes in craniofacial growth have an impact on speech quality has yet to be clarified. Therefore, we aimed to determine which cephalometric parameters differed between healthy and cleft palate groups.

Material and methods. 17 healthy and 11 children born with CL/P were included. We conducted a cross-sectional and comparative study. A combination of objective and subjective assessment methods was performed: nasalance scores were calculated, and lateral cephalograms were evaluated by indirect digitization using Dolphin Imaging Software.

Results. The analysis showed differences in the length of the hard (PNS-A) and soft palate (PNS-P), and in the width of the lower oropharyngeal airway (AW5-AW6). The mean length of the hard palate was 3.7 mm and the soft palate 3.0 mm shorter in the CL/P group compared to the healthy group. Hypernasal resonance was related to (1) the length of the hard palate, (2) the distance between the hyoid bone from the third cervical vertebra, and (3) the angle formed by the NA line and the NB line (ANB). Only 11 CL/P children met the inclusion criteria. Thus, the results may have been affected by the small sample size. The Control group consisted of children who visited ENT doctors or orthodontists.

Conclusion. The results showed differences in cephalometric parameters in the two groups. Still, we continue to collect data and plan to conduct the analysis on larger and more homogenous sample size.

Key words: cleft palate speech, nasalance, cephalometric parameters, cephalometrics, cleft palate.

Received: 11 03 2022

Accepted for publishing: 24 03 2023

1Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

2Institute of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

3Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Address correspondence to Lagle Lehes, Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Puusepa 1a, Tartu 50406, Estonia.

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