Nasoalveolar molding: Prevalence of cleft centers offering nam and who seeks it

Lacey Sischo, Jenny W. Chan, Margot Stein, Christie Smith, John Van Aalst, Hillary L. Broder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is a treatment option available for early cleft care. Despite the growing debate about the efficacy of nasoalveolar molding, questions remain regarding its prevalence and the demographic characteristics of families undergoing this technique prior to traditional cleft surgery. Objectives: To determine the number of teams currently offering nasoalveolar molding and to identify salient clinical and sociodemographic variables in infants and families who choose nasoalveolar molding compared with those who choose traditional cleft care across three well-established cleft centers. Results: Via phone surveys, 89% of the U.S. cleft teams contacted revealed that nasoalveolar molding is available at 37% of these centers. Chart reviews and phone correspondence with caregivers indicate that the average distance to the cleft center was 65.5 miles and caregiver age averaged 30.9 ± 5.7 years. Of families who chose nasoalveolar molding, 85% received total or partial insurance coverage. No difference in caregiver education, income, or distance to the clinic between treatment groups was found. On average, infants receiving nasoalveolar molding and cleft surgery had larger clefts and had more clinic visits than infants receiving traditional cleft surgery. Infants who were firstborn and those who did not have other siblings were more likely to receive nasoalveolar molding than were infants who were residing with other siblings. Conclusions: Currently more than one-third of U.S. cleft centers offer nasoalveolar molding. Although the cleft size was larger in the nasoalveolar molding group, no treatment group differences in education, income, and distance to the clinic were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Access to care
  • Birth order
  • Cleft care
  • Demographic variables
  • Insurance
  • Nasoalveolar molding
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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