Journal Article

Long-term effect of neonatal endotracheal intubation on palatal form and symmetry in 8-11-year-old children

LV Macey-Dare, DR Moles, RD Evans and F Nixon

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 21, issue 6, pages 703-710
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Long-term effect of neonatal endotracheal intubation on palatal form and symmetry in 8-11-year-old children

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Premature and low birth weight infants often require neonatal oral intubation for resuscitation and to relieve respiratory distress. The endotracheal tube exerts pressure on the developing palate, which can result in palatal groove formation, a high-arched palate, and palatal asymmetry. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether such intubation can have a long-term effect on palatal form and symmetry.

Arch widths, palatal widths, and palatal depths were measured from the study casts of 43, 8-11-year-old previously intubated premature and low birth weight children using a reflex microscope, with a fixed rectangular Cartesian co-ordinate system, and compared with a group of non-intubated gender- and age-matched controls.

Significant differences were found between the intubated and non-intubated children. The intubated children had significantly narrower palatal widths posteriorly (P≤0.001), steeper palatal vaults anteriorly (P≤0.01), and exhibited a directional palatal width asymmetry with the left side of the palate measuring consistently wider than the right. These differences did not, however, appear to be affected by the length of intubation.

Therefore, it is concluded that an oral endotracheal tube might exert excess force on the developing alveolus anteriorly with the tube being displaced to the right of the palate posteriorly leading to a steep anterior palatal vault and a left-sided palatal asymmetry, which can persist until the age of 11 years of age.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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