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PURPOSE: Bone grafting of the alveolus has become an essential part of the contemporary surgical management of the
oral cleft. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the results of bone grafting in association with PRP (plateletrich
plasma) to enhance osteogenesis and osteointegration.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The study included 16 patients, aged between 9 and 11, affected with unilateral residual
alveolar clefts, who underwent bone grafting using secondary alveoplasty. The eight patients belonging to the control group
were administered autologous bone graft alone while the study group, consisting of 8 patients, underwent autologous bone
grafting in association with PRP. All patients had pre and post surgery orthodontic treatment. The statistical analyses
included Student’s t test, 2 test and Kaplan-Meir time to event analysis. The p-value was considered significant if
p<0.05. All statistical analyses were performed using SAS Software release 9.3 (SAS Institute, Cary, Nc). RESULTS: The control group (M 50%, mean age 10.2±2.3) underwent simple autologous bone graft while the study group (M 62.5%, mean age 9.9±2.2) was treated with a combination of autologous bone and PRP. No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups as regards age, gender and labial-palatal cleft clinical characteristics. 6, 12, 24 month follow-ups were performed by means of clinical and radiographic investigations. None of the study group developed oronasal fistulas or experienced bone height, bone bridging and bone quality loss; only two patients developed mild periodontal problems. The study group was able to undergo a significantly (p<0.001) earlier and shorter orthodontic treatment. CONCLUSIONS: In our experience, the use of PRP enhances the quality of osteoplasty, accelerates “creeping substitution” and bone healing and favours earlier orthodontic treatment.