The Impact of Cleft Lip/Palate and Surgical Intervention on Adolescent Life Outcomes: Evidence from Operation Smile in India

Cleft Lip/Palate (CLP) is a congenital orofacial anomaly appearing in approximately one in 700 births worldwide. While in high-income countries CLP is normally addressed surgically during infancy, in developing countries CLP is often left unoperated, potentially impacting multiple dimensions of life quality. Previous research has frequently compared CLP outcomes to those of the general population. But because local environmental and genetic factors both contribute to the risk of CLP and also may influence life outcomes, such studies may present a downward bias in estimates of both CLP status and restorative surgery. Working with the non- profit organization Operation Smile, this research uses quasi-experimental causal methods on a novel data set of 1,118 Indian children to study the impact of CLP status and CLP correction on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of Indian teenagers. Our results indicate that adolescents with median-level CLP severity show statistically significant losses in indices of speech quality (-1.55), academic and cognitive ability (-0.43), physical well-being (-0.35), psychological well-being (-0.23), and social inclusion (-0.35). We find that CLP surgery improves speech if carried out at an early age, and that it significantly restores social inclusion.

Considerations for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in COVID-19 Era: Can We Sustain the Solutions to Keep Our Patients and Healthcare Personnel Safe?

Several uncertainties exist regarding how we will conduct our clinical, didactic, business, and social activities as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic abates and social distancing guidelines are relaxed. We anticipate changes in how we interact with our patients and other providers, how patient workflow is designed, the methods used to conduct our teaching sessions, and how we perform procedures in different clinical settings. The objective of the present report was to review some of the changes to consider in the clinical and academic oral and maxillofacial surgery workflow to allow for a smoother and more efficient transition, with less risk to our patients and healthcare personnel. New infection control policies should be strictly enforced and monitored in all clinical and nonclinical settings, with an overall goal of decreasing the risk of exposure and transmission. Screening for COVID-19 symptoms, testing when indicated, and establishing the epidemiologic linkage will be crucial to containing and preventing new COVID-19 cases until a vaccine or an alternate solution is available. Additionally, the shortage of essential supplies such as drugs and personal protective equipment, the design and ventilation of workspaces and waiting areas, the increase in overhead costs, and the possible absence of staff, if quarantine is necessary, must be considered. This shift in our workflow and patient care paths will likely continue in the short term at least through 2021 or the next 12 to 24 months. Thus, we must prioritize surgery, balancing patient preferences and healthcare personnel risks. We have an opportunity now to make changes and embrace telemedicine and other collaborative virtual platforms for teaching and clinical care. It is crucial that we maintain COVID-19 awareness, proper surveillance in our microenvironments, good clinical judgment, and ethical values to continue to deliver high-quality, economical, and accessible patient care.

Rehabilitation of an Irradiated Marginal Mandibulectomy Patient Using Immediately Loaded Basal Implant-Supported Fixed Prostheses and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A 2-year Follow-Up

Introduction: The prosthetic rehabilitation of mandibular defects owing to tumor resection is challenging, especially when the patient has undergone subsequent radiotherapy.

Presentation of case: A 46-year old male presented with a marginal mandibular resection. Following surgery, the patient received adjunctive radiation therapy with a total dose of 70 grays. On clinical examination, the patient presented with severely resorbed edentulous jaws, with an anterior marginal mandibular resection and an obliterated vestibular sulcus. The panoramic radiograph showed a hypocellularity of the maxillary and mandibular bones. A multidisciplinary team was formed, and a treatment plan was formulated which involved the construction of a vestibuloplast stent, and the application of 20 hyperbaric oxygen sessions before implant treatment and 10 more sessions after implant insertion. A total of 16 basal cortical screw implants were inserted to support the fixed prostheses, and a vestibuloplasty was performed to improve esthetics. No complications were observed, and at the 2-year follow-up, the patient presented with excellent peri-implant soft tissue health; increased bone-implant contact; and stable, well-functioning prostheses.

Discussion: The construction of a stable, retentive, well-supported removable prosthesis may be complicated in cases of comprehensive mandibular resection. Basal implants can eliminate the need for bone grafting, and reduce the treatment period required for providing a fixed prosthesis.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first evidence reporting the use of fixed basal implant-supported prostheses in irradiated bone, in conjunction with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A treatment modality that significantly improves the peri-implant tissue health, and ensures an excellent implant-bone contact.

The Occurrence and Contributing Factors of Needle Stick and Sharp Injuries Among Dental Students in a South African University

Needle stick and sharp injuries are a global public health issue, mainly due to exposure to infectious diseases. Dental students, in particular, are at a high risk of needle stick and sharp injuries attributed to the restricted working space of the oral cavity and the routine use of sharp instruments, among other risks. Despite this growing body of knowledge on needle stick and sharp injuries in the dental setting, data is limited among dental students in South Africa.

The study aimed to determine the occurrence and contributing factors of needle stick and sharp injuries among dental undergraduate students in a university in South Africa.

A university based cross-sectional study was conducted among 248 dental students in the School of Oral Health Sciences using a census sampling. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on prevalence, procedures, instruments, reporting, contributing factors, training, protective strategies, and hepatitis B immunization. Data was analysed using STATA 14.

The response rate was 99% and the mean age of students was 24 years (SD=±4). Male students were 43% (107), while females constituted 57% (141) of the sample. One-hundred and one (41%) students reported being exposed to needle stick and sharps injuries. Most injuries (45%) occurred among students studying Bachelor of Dental and Surgery and among students in the 4th year (57%). The people at the departments of periodontology (39%), and maxillofacial and oral Surgery (25%) experienced most injuries. The main tools causing injuries were the syringe needle (52%) and the scaler (31%) while injecting a patient (34%), and scaling and polishing (26%) were common procedures. Eight (8%) students did not report their injury, even though the use of prophylaxis exposure was minimal (8%). Very few students (5%) were tested for a blood-borne virus after injury, while 23% did nothing with their injury and 43% opted to wash the injury under tap water. Lack of concentration (36%) and anxiety (19%) were reported as major contributing factors to injuries. Two hundred and forty six (99%) students were fully vaccinated against hepatitis B. Two hundred and nineteen (86%) students were aware of full details on the use of universal precautions. One hundred and eighty six (75%) students practiced needle recapping. Being in the 3rd year (AOR = 3.0, 95%CI: 1.4 – 6.3), 4th year (AOR = 5.0, 95%CI: 1.9 – 11) and 5th year (AOR=4.6, 95%CI: 2 -12.5) was significantly associated to injuries compared to students in the 2nd year of the study.

The needle stick and sharp injuries were prevalent in this study, and factors implicated were lack of concentration and anxiety, as well as, age, academic year of study and training on handling of instruments. The burden of needle stick and sharps injuries among the dental professionals can be reduced by adhering to the current and universally accepted standard precautionary measures against needle stick and sharp injuries.

Similarities and Differences in Specialty Training of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics (India), Operative Dentistry (Pakistan) and Restorative Dentistry-Endodontics (United Kingdom)

Dental education and training in Pakistan and India are largely influenced by the British system of education. However, there are some differences in the mode of postgraduate training in these countries. In Pakistan, hospital-based residency training is the mainstay, culminating in a fellowship diploma awarded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan. Whereas, in Indian students of dentistry pursue university-based MDS programme as the primary pathway to specialist training. From the beginning the Indian dental academia has remained vigilant in adopting a correct nomenclature for the specialty concerned with the dental conservation. They named it Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics while in Pakistan the same specialty termed Operative Dentistry has become an obsolete term and does not represent the scope of work practiced by specialists in this discipline. A simple addition of the term “Endodontics” to the present nomenclature of “Operative Dentistry” will resolve the matter of a missing identity in a clinical specialty in Pakistan. The present paper suggests the need for advocacy to change the term used for this particular dental specialty.

Global Burden of Craniofacial Disorders Where Should Volunteering Plastic Surgeons and Governments Focus Their Care?

Approximately 11% of the global burden of disease is surgically treatable. When located within the head, face, and neck region, plastic surgeons are particularly trained to treat these conditions. The purpose of this study was to describe the etiology, disability, and barriers to receiving care for diseases of the head, face, mouth, and neck region across 4 low-and-middle-income countries.

The Surgeons OverSeas Assessment of Surgical Need (SOSAS) instrument is a cluster randomized, cross-sectional, national survey administered in Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda from 2011 to 2014. The survey identifies demographic characteristics, etiology, disease timing, proportion seeking/receiving care, barriers to care, and disability.

Across the 4 countries, 1413 diseases of head, face, mouth, and neck region were identified. Masses (22.13%) and trauma (32.8%) were the most common etiology. Nepal reported the largest proportion of masses (40.22%) and Rwanda reported the largest amount of trauma (52.65%) (P < 0.001). Rwanda had the highest proportion of individuals seeking (89.6%) and receiving care (83.63%) while Sierra Leone reported the fewest (60% versus 47.77%, P < 0.001). In our multi-variate analysis literacy and chronic conditions were predictors for receiving care while diseases causing the greatest disability predicted not receiving care (ORa .58 and .48 versus 1.31 P < 0.001).

The global volunteering plastic surgeon should be prepared to treat chronic craniofacial conditions. Furthermore, governments should address structural barriers, such as health illiteracy and lack of access to local plastic surgery care by supporting local training efforts.

An assessment of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.

Clefts of the lip (CL), the palate (CP), or both (CLP) are the most common orofacial congenital malformations found among live births, accounting for 65% of all head and neck anomalies. The frequency and pattern of orofacial clefts in different parts of the world and among different human groups varies widely. Generally, populations of Asian or Native American origin have the highest prevalence, while Caucasian populations show intermediate prevalence and African populations the lowest. To date, little is known regarding the epidemiology and pattern of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.A retrospective descriptive study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre to identify all children with orofacial clefts that attended or were treated during a period of five years. Cleft lip and/or palate records were obtained from patient files in the Hospital’s Departments of Surgery, Paediatrics and medical records. Age at presentation, sex, region of origin, type and laterality of the cleft were recorded. In addition, presence of associated congenital anomalies or syndromes was recorded.A total of 240 orofacial cleft cases were seen during this period. Isolated cleft lip was the most common cleft type followed closely by cleft lip and palate (CLP). This is a departure from the pattern of clefting reported for Caucasian and Asian populations, where CLP or isolated cleft palate is the most common type. The distribution of clefts by side showed a statistically significant preponderance of the left side (43.7%) (?2 = 92.4, p < 0.001), followed by the right (28.8%) and bilateral sides (18.3%). Patients with isolated cleft palate presented at very early age (mean age 1.00 years, SE 0.56). Associated congenital anomalies were observed in 2.8% of all patients with orofacial clefts, and included neural tube defects, Talipes and persistent ductus arteriosus.Unilateral orofacial clefts were significantly more common than bilateral clefts; with the left side being the most common affected side. Most of the other findings did not show marked differences with orofacial cleft distributions in other African populations.

Surgical outreach and microvascular surgery in developing countries.

Due to the discrepancy between surgical demand and resources in Low-Middle Income Countries (LMIC), surgical outreach programs (SOP) have increased in popularity. In these resource-constrained healthcare environments, the resources necessary to perform basic head and neck procedures are often lacking, and offering microvascular reconstruction adds yet another level of complexity. Here we discuss the difficulties and challenges in establishing a SOP abroad and more specifically some of the challenges specific to microvascular reconstruction – including patient selection, burden of cost, lack of infrastructure and equipment, and patient follow up and outcomes. Although challenges certainly exist, we present the feasibility and the benefit for patient care as well as the role it can play in the foundation development of a low-resource region. The goals of the SOP must be well-defined, and incorporating microvascular surgery can be used as an adjunct to enhance the development of many aspects of the LMIC healthcare system. We present a model of care in which the initial focus is centered on providing safe care to these patients undergoing complex procedures, but after the development of a strong foundation, the focus can begin to include program sustainability and education.

Backward Planning a Craniomaxillofacial Trauma Curriculum for the Surgical Workforce in Low-Resource Settings.

Trauma is a significant contributor to global disease, and low-income countries disproportionately shoulder this burden. Education and training are critical components in the effort to address the surgical workforce shortage. Educators can tailor training to a diverse background of health professionals in low-resource settings using competency-based curricula. We present a process for the development of a competency-based curriculum for low-resource settings in the context of craniomaxillofacial (CMF) trauma education.

CMF trauma surgeons representing 7 low-, middle-, and high-income countries conducted a standardized educational curriculum development program. Patient problems related to facial injuries were identified and ranked from highest to lowest morbidity. Higher morbidity problems were categorized into 4 modules with agreed upon competencies. Methods of delivery (lectures, case discussions, and practical exercises) were selected to optimize learning of each competency.

A facial injuries educational curriculum (1.5 days event) was tailored to health professionals with diverse training backgrounds who care for CMF trauma patients in low-resource settings. A backward planned, competency-based curriculum was organized into four modules titled: acute (emergent), eye (periorbital injuries and sight preserving measures), mouth (dental injuries and fracture care), and soft tissue injury treatments. Four courses have been completed with pre- and post-course assessments completed.

Surgeons and educators from a diverse geographic background found the backward planning curriculum development method effective in creating a competency-based facial injuries (trauma) course for health professionals in low-resource settings, where contextual aspects of shortages of surgical capacity, equipment, and emergency transportation must be considered.

Competency-Based Education in Low Resource Settings: Development of a Novel Surgical Training Program.

The unmet burden of surgical disease represents a major global health concern, and a lack of trained providers is a critical component of the inadequacy of surgical care worldwide. Competency-based training has been advanced in high-income countries, improving technical skills and decreasing training time, but it is poorly understood how this model might be applied to low- and middle-income countries. We describe the development of a competency-based program to accelerate specialty training of in-country providers in cleft surgery techniques.

The program was designed and piloted among eight trainees at five international cleft lip and palate surgical mission sites in Latin America and Africa. A competency-based evaluation form, designed for the program, was utilized to grade general technical and procedure-specific competencies, and pre- and post-training scores were analyzed using a paired t test.

Trainees demonstrated improvement in average procedure-specific competency scores for both lip repairs (60.4-71.0%, p < 0.01) and palate (50.6-66.0%, p < 0.01). General technical competency scores also improved (63.6-72.0%, p < 0.01). Among the procedural competencies assessed, surgical markings showed the greatest improvement (19.0 and 22.8% for lip and palate, respectively), followed by nasal floor/mucosal approximation (15.0%) and hard palate dissection (17.1%).

Surgical delivery models in LMICs are varied, and trade-offs often exist between goals of case throughput, quality and training. Pilot program results show that procedure-specific and general technical competencies can be improved over a relatively short time and demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating such a training program into surgical outreach missions.