AIIMS Conducts Workshop For Over 100 Orthodontists From India, Nepal
Cleft lip or cleft palate is a condition when the two sides of the lip, developing in an unborn baby, do not completely fuse. It adversely affects nutrition, leads to chest infections, ear problems, poor speech and inability in proper chewing.
The abnormal arrangement of teeth, poor jaw relations and facial aesthetics make a child socially and functionally handicap.
Cleft lip and palate anomaly constitute nearly one-third of all congenital malformations of the craniofacial region with an average worldwide incidence of 1 in 700, said Prof Kharbanda, an eminent cleft craniofacial orthodontist and chief of the Centre for Dental Education and Research at AIIMS here.
Its incidence in the Asian population is reported to be around 1.7 per 1,000 live births or higher. In India, more than 35,000 cleft children are born every year, and they add to huge existing patients, many of whom may not have received the required comprehensive treatment, the doctor said.
“Only a fortunate few have the opportunity to get comprehensive cleft care. Although most patients nowadays get cleft surgery treatment, the outcomes are not necessarily reflective of quality care. They remain deprived of the two major aspects — correction of disfigurement of the face due to poor dental alignment and poor speech,” he said.
A multi-centric hospital-based study from different cities conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as part of an Indian Council of Medical Research’s task force India-Cleft project revealed that around 35 per cent of patients show poor outcomes like a hole remaining in palate and complex dental disfigurement after cleft surgery. Also, about 70 per cent of patients presented with difficulties in speech.
To spread awareness of interdisciplinary care and improve the quality of treatment, it is essential to train different specialists involved in cleft care about protocols of treatment, Kharbanda said.
The three-day workshop, built as first-of-its-kind, was held in collaboration with the Indian Orthodontic Society recently. It trained over 100 orthodontists from different parts of the country and Nepal, he said.
The workshop emphasised the need for interdisciplinary care and provided the delegates with a complete treatment template starting from antenatal counselling through adulthood and extending beyond marriage in the form of genetic counselling.