Norwegian Orthodontists’ Experience and Challenges With Treatment of Patients With Cleft Lip and Palate
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 2021. 10.1177/10556656211028509
Background: Patients born with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) have orthodontic treatment challenges due to maxilla deficiency, malocclusions, and dental abnormalities. In Norway, orthodontic treatment is done by centralized CL/P teams. Due to traveling restrictions, this treatment might be done locally in the future. The experience of Norwegian community orthodontists in managing such patients has not been investigated previously. Objective: To assess Norwegian orthodontists’ management of patients with CL/P and need for further education. Material and Methods: All orthodontists in Norway were sent a questionnaire about their experience, challenges, and knowledge and asked about their need of further theoretical education and clinical training in the management of patients with CL/P. Results: Norwegian orthodontists’ standard of knowledge of CL/P treatment is adequate. However, few respondents have treated a high number of cleft patients. Eighty-six percent of the participants believed that treating CL/P patients involves challenges, such as time-consuming treatment and technical difficulties. Increased perceived need for more education was revealed among participants stated unpreparedness during education (4 folds), encountered challenges, and lack of knowledge (almost 3 folds). Conclusions: The study revealed that community orthodontists in Norway lack experience and acknowledged the challenges in treating patients with CL/P. Most of the respondents perceived a need for additional education and clinical training to treat CL/P patients competently. The findings suggested more focus on patients with CL/P management in the curricula and more collaboration between centralized CL/P teams and community orthodontists.