Dental researcher improves a device to help cleft-palate patients avoid surgery

Oct 01, 2010
Tarek El-Bialy has improved a device that will help stretch the constricted upper arch in the mouth of a child who has a cleft palate.

( -- Children with cleft palates may no longer need invasive jaw-widening surgery as an adult.

Tarek El-Bialy, an associate professor of in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, has spent eight years updating materials and making precise adjustments adding to a dental device that will help stretch the constricted upper arch in the mouth of a child who has a cleft palate. If people with the condition can’t have their arches widened enough while they are growing, then they are highly likely to undergo major, corrective jaw-widening surgery as an adult, where the upper arch is cut, widened and then sewn back together.

“With this new device, we are hoping that people with cleft palates and constricted upper arches won’t have to get this surgery anymore,” says El-Bialy.

Devices currently used are put inside the upper arch, which prevents the tongue from resting against the . The tongue needs to rest against the teeth because this action helps support that part of the mouth from pressure from the cheek muscles. If the tongue can’t rest against the teeth, it causes the upper arch to become even more constricted which exacerbates the situation for people with cleft palate. Because current expansion devices leave no room for the tongue, people using them usually develop mouth breathing, which in turn may lead to respiratory problems and other dental-related issues.

El-Bialy’s device, which is protected by a patent, is instead put on the outside of the teeth in the upper arch. He says the apparatus which will stretch the upper arch, will do a better job of controlling teeth movement and won’t interfere whatsoever with the tongue.

Ryan Roesinger, 15, who has a , says people with constricted upper arches will have a much better quality of life.

“It means a life with fewer surgeries and a life with less pain,” he said. “I’m very excited.”

Clinical trials will be required before the El Bialy’s expansion device can be sold to patients. TEC Edmonton, the exclusive commercialization agent for the University of Alberta, has filed a patent application for the device and is working with El-Bialy to find a company that can fund trials and get the device to market.

Explore further: Philippines boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research shows timing improves cleft palate surgery

May 12, 2008

Research by Dr. Damir Matic, a scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario is changing the way cleft palate surgeries are performed throughout North America and around the world. Matic has been conducting ...

Can cleft palate be healed before birth?

Dec 01, 2009

In a study newly published in the journal Development, investigators at the USC School of Dentistry describe how to non-surgically reverse the onset of cleft palate in fetal mice - potentially one step in the journey to a b ...

Genetic profile reveals susceptibility to cleft palate

Sep 15, 2008

For the first time, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have identified a series of genetic mutations that appear to be linked to significant risk for cleft palate and other dental abnormalities. ...

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

4 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.