The Orthodontist as a member of the Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Interdisciplinary collaboration and protocols of treatment in Denmark

Patients with orofacial clefts need multidisciplinary care. Treatment complexity and high burden of care require a number of specialists to work in harmony when establishing treatment protocols. Usually the following disciplines participate in the Cleft teams: paediatrics, genetics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, social work or nursing, orthodontics, speech language therapy, ENT, maxillofacial surgery, prosthetic dentistry and psychology.

The presentation will focus on the role of the orthodontic consultant in the management of children born with a cleft condition at multiple stages of dental and growth development. Protocols of treatment in Denmark will be introduced through clinical examples. Attention will be drawn to functional adaptation, issues with post-treatment stability and need for life-long retention. The importance of a close communication among all professional specialties in the team, respecting patients own expectations and perceptions will be emphasized.

Susanna Botticelli, DDS, MSc, Ph.D, is consultant orthodontist at the Cleft Lip and Palate Department in Aarhus, Postdoc at the Section for Orthodontics at Aarhus University and orthodontist in private practice Specialtandlægerne Aarhus Tandregulering. She graduated as a dentist from University of Bologna and completed her orthodontic training in 2007.

She has been working as a clinician in the Danish Cleft Team since 2007 and conducted a PhD project from 2015 to 2019 at Aarhus University investigating the role of cleft size and morphology in determining dento-facial and speech outcomes in children born with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP).

She has been teaching pre- and post-graduate students since 2007 and she has been involved in planning the International Short-Term Course in Orthodontics at Aarhus University since 2011. Currently she is co-directing the Short-Term Programme, conducting independent research and supervising post-graduates and research students.

Her main research interests are diagnosis and planning in cleft lip and palate treatment. She is implementing 3D imaging methods based on digital models and intraoral scanning in the assessment of infant cleft size, palatal volume and pre- and post-surgical evaluation of bone grafting procedures. Furthermore, her research focuses on eruption anomalies, impacted teeth and interdisciplinary collaboration.  She is reviewer for several journals in the craniofacial and 3D-imaging fields. She was awarded with the Best Oral presentation prize at the second Nordic PhD Summit (NorDoc), involving all Nordic medical schools and held in Helsinki in 2018.