Cleft lip and palate deformities are the most common congenital abnormalities of the head and neck. Advancements in the various multidisciplinary fields involved in cleft management have substantially improved functional and aesthetic outcomes. The legitimacy of such controversial topics as gingivoperiosteoplasty, primary rhinoplasty, and presurgical nasoalveolar molding is heavily contested. Bone morphogenetic protein and other recombinant growth factors may play important roles in future cleft care. As the candidate alleles that contribute to cleft lip and palate are further elucidated, the complex interplay of environmental influence and genetic predisposition is emphasized. Translational research from fields such as fetal wound healing, tissue engineering, and gene therapy may have clinical applications as cleft care continues to evolve.
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