Perceived and Normative Needs of Facial Cleft Patients Seen in Nigeria

Emmanuel Obiajulu Amobi, Jerome Mafeni, Comfort Ayodele Adekoya-Sofowora


Objective: To evaluate the pattern of presentation and assessing treatment needs of children with facial clefts. Material and Methods: This was a cross sectional study of 49 patients seen at the cleft clinic of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife for a 39-month period of study. Data collected were patient’s bio-data including age, date of birth, sex, social class, age of parents, dental findings, associated malformations, treatment given and referral using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Frequency distributions were carried out for all variables and the Pearson Chi-Square Test was applied to assess the significance of differences between groups at a p value of 0.05. Results: Cleft lip and palate had the highest preponderance 23 (47.0%) followed by cleft lip 14 (28.6%) and cleft palate 12 (24.5%). There were more females 28 (57.14%) than males 21 (42.9%) at male to female ratio of 3: 4, though; it was not statistically significant (p-0.73). Most of the patients (73.5%) belong to the low social class. The high social class had 13 (26.5%) cases. Conclusion: The most important treatment needs of cleft patients in this study were: review/follow-up of treatment protocol, oral hygiene instructions, cleft palate repair, cleft lip repair, and referral to the Orthodontist for treatment of varying degrees of malocclusion in descending order. This trend in the treatment needs arose because most of the patients were still ignorant of the implications of managing facial cleft defects through the multi-disciplinary treatment approach.


Cleft Palate; Cleft Lip; Abnormalities, Multiple; Epidemiology

Full Text:



Adekeye EO. Occurrence of cleft lips and palate in Kaduna, Nigeria. Nig Dent J 1982; 3(1):19-25.

Tessier P. Anatomical classification facial, cranio-facial and latero-facial clefts. J MaxillofacSurg 1976; 4(2):69-92.

Wikipedia. The free encyclopaedia. Cleft lip and palate. Available from: Last modified 7th June 2017. [Accessed 12 July 2017].

Iregbulem LM. The incidence of cleft lip and palate in Nigeria. WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme. Cleft Palate J 1982; 19(3):201-5.

Butali A, Mossey PA. Epidemiology of oro-facial clefts in Africa. Methodological challenges in ascertainment. Pan Afr Med J 2009; 2(5):55-60.

Habel A, Sell D, Mars M. Management of cleft lip and palate. Arch Dis Child 1996; 74(4):360-4.

Rivaldo EG, Russomano RP, Vargas-Ferreira F, Nogueira Pinto JH, Frasca LCF. Impact of cleft lip and palate on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQOL) in Brazilian patients. Pesq Bras Odontoped Clin Integr 2017; 17(1):e3609. doi: 10.4034/PBOCI.2017.171.27.

Nwoku AL. Experiences on the surgical repair of un-operated adult cleft patients in Nigeria. Nig Med J 1976; 6(4):417-21.

Arotiba GT, Olasoji HO. Management of the bilateral cleft lip deformity. Nig Postgrad Med J 1998; 5(1):40-4.

Spina V. A proposed modification for the classification of cleft lip and cleft palate. Cleft Palate J 1974; 10:251-2.

Millard DR. The embryonic rationale for primary correction of the cleft lip and palate. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1994; 76(3):150-60.

World Health Organisation. Global Registry and Database on Craniofacial Anomalies Eds: Mossey PA, Castilla (2003). WHO Reports, Human Genetics Programme: International Collaborative Research on Craniofacial Anomalies. WHO publications, Geneva, Switzerland, 2003.

Baird PA, Sadovnick AD, Yee IM. Maternal age and oral cleft malformations: Data from a population-based series of 576,815 consecutive live births. Teratology 1994; 49(6):448-51. doi: 10.1002/tera.1420490604.

Emanuel I, Culver BH, Erickson JD, Guthrie B, Schuldberg D. The further epidemiological differentiation of cleft lip and palate: A population study of clefts in King County, Washington. Teratology 1973; 7(3):271-81. doi: 10.1002/tera.1420070308.

Allan RT. Modern management of the cleft lip and palate patient. Dent Update 1990; 17(10):402-8.

Haberman M. The Haberman Feeder. Available from: [Accessed 12 July 2017].

Sommerlad BC. Management of cleft lip and palate. Curr Paediatr 1994; 4(3):189-95.doi: 10.1016/0957-5839(94)90049-3.

The Smile Train. International Charity Organization. Available from: [Accessed 12 July 2017].

Umesi-Koleoso DC. Dental caries pattern of first and second molars and treatment needs among adolescents in Lagos. Nig Dent J 2007; 15(2):78-82.

Akpata ES. Pit, fissure and smooth surface caries of first and second permanent molars in urban Nigeria. Caries Res 1981; 15(4):318-23.