A novel patient controlled bidirectional palatal lift appliance.

L. E. Greene (Lead / Corresponding author), K. Wilson, G. McIntyre, J. Wilson, F. V. Mehendale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective:Palatal lift appliances have a role in management of velopharyngeal dysfunction for immobile palates of adequate length where surgery is contraindicated. Conventional appliances involve acrylic/wire work adjustment over successive appointments until they can be tolerated without gagging. A novel appliance has been developed where the lifting plate is incrementally distalized by the patient and vertically adjusted to optimize soft palate positioning.
Method:The design, construction, and utility of the appliance, which was developed in Dundee Dental Hospital, are described.
Participants:The subject was a 12-year-old boy with a variant of Moebius syndrome and velopharyngeal dysfunction. Previous pharyngoplasty had been carried out on the pharyngeal flap, and further surgery was contraindicated.
Interventions:The appliance is constructed and fitted and the flexible spring arm is vertically adjusted to lift the soft palate. The screw is turned incrementally at home, extending the lifting plate posteriorly. Videofluoroscopy allows visualization of the appliance and soft palate positioning.
Main Outcome Measures:The procedure improved soft palate positioning, viewed using videofluoroscopy, and objective speech outcomes.
Results:The appliance improved soft palate positioning and speech outcomes for this patient.
Conclusions:The appliance was well tolerated and led to improved speech outcomes for the patient. Adjustments were quick and easy for both clinician and patient. Further studies are needed to definitively determine the efficacy of the appliance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-101
Number of pages6
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • burden of care
  • palatal lift
  • patient-controlled appliance
  • speech appliance
  • videofluoroscopy
  • velopharyngeal dysfunction


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