Date of Award



Department of Orthodontics

First Advisor

Jonas Bianchi

First Committee Member

Yongjong Park,

Second Committee Member

Olivia Yue

Third Committee Member

Marie M. Tolarova,


Objectives: This study aimed to three-dimensionally analyze the effects of pre-surgical nasoalveolar molding in unilateral cleft lip and palate patients. Methods: The sample was collected from three centers and consisted of 132 digital dental casts of patients pre- and post- NAM. Landmarks and measurements were identified on each cast and the changes from pre- to post-NAM were recorded and analyzed. Results: Post-NAM, we observed a mean decrease of 5.18mm in 3D cleft width, 1.78mm decrease in sagittal cleft gap, 1.34mm decrease in the anterior arch width, 2.27mm increase in the posterior arch width, a greater inward rotation of the greater segment (8.50°) compared to the lesser segment (3.09°), and an increase in arch depth (1.74mm) and internal flexion (9.20°) of the lesser segment. No statistically significant changes in the arch depth and internal flexion of the greater segment were observed. The morphological changes between pre- and post-NAM therapy were visualized by closest distance colormaps and 3D superposition assessments. Conclusions: Unilateral cleft lip and palate patients were successfully treated with traditional NAM therapy. The obtained data may serve as a foundation for a regression algorithm for the closure of cleft, allowing future fabrication of semi-automated 3D-printed NAM plates.