Craniofacial orthodontics and postgraduate orthodontic training in Nigeria
Introduction: Craniofacial orthodontics has been shown to be a critical component of the care of patients with craniofacial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the perceptions and clinical experience in cleft and craniofacial care, of orthodontic residents in Nigeria.
Methodology: Questionnaires were sent out to orthodontic residents in the six Postgraduate Orthodontic Training Centers in the country at that time. The questionnaires were self‑administered and covered areas in beliefs in cleft care and the clinical experience and challenges faced by the residents in the provision of craniofacial orthodontic care at their various institutions.
Results: Thirty‑three respondents returned completed questionnaires, with a response rate of 97%. All the respondents believed that residents should be involved in cleft and craniofacial care. Postnatal counseling was the clinical procedure in which the residents reported the highest level of clinical experience (47.4%). The least clinical experience was recorded in pre-bone graft orthodontics (7.4%) and orthodontic preparation for orthognathic surgery (5.5%). Some of the challenges highlighted by the residents were low patients turn out for orthodontic care and the absence of multidisciplinary treatment for craniofacial patients in their centers.
Conclusion: Orthodontic residents in Nigeria believe that they should be involved in the management of patients with craniofacial anomalies and cleft lip and palate. However, majority of the residents have limited clinical experience in the management of these patients. A lot more needs to be done, to expose orthodontic residents in training, to all aspects of the orthodontic and multidisciplinary team care required for the cleft/craniofacial patient.
Keywords: Craniofacial orthodontics, Nigeria, postgraduate orthodontic training