Clefting of the Alveolus: Emphasizing the Distinction from Cleft Palate

Nicholas Wirtz, James Sidman, William Block

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Oral clefting is one of the most common significant fetal abnormalities. Cleft lip and cleft palate have drastically different clinical ramifications and management from one another. A cleft of the alveolus (with or without cleft lip) can confuse the diagnostic picture and lead to a false assumption of cleft palate. The cleft alveolus should be viewed on the spectrum of cleft lip rather than be associated with cleft palate. This is made evident by understanding the embryological development of the midface and relevant terminology. Cleft alveolus carries significantly different clinical implications and treatment options than that of cleft palate. Accurately distinguishing cleft alveolus from cleft palate is crucial for appropriate discussions regarding the patient's care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-534
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 23 2016


  • cleft alveolus
  • cleft lip
  • cleft palate
  • craniofacial
  • oral cleft
  • prenatal diagnosis cleft


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