Background: Nasoalveolar molding is increasingly being used to treat unilateral cleft nose deformity before primary repair. The Grayson technique starts nasal molding when an alveolar gap is reduced to 5 mm, whereas the Figueroa technique performs nasal and alveolar molding at the same time. The authors investigated the comparative efficacy, efficiency, and incidence of complications of the two techniques. Methods: A blinded, retrospective study was conducted on 63 patients with complete unilateral cleft lip-cleft palate; 31 underwent the Grayson nasoalveolar molding and 32 underwent the Figueroa nasoalveolar molding. Pretreatment and posttreatment facial photographs and clinical charts were used to compare efficacy (nostril height ratio, nostril width ratio, columellar angle), efficiency (molding frequency), and incidence of complications (facial irritation, mucosal ulceration). Results: The Grayson and Figueroa techniques did not differ in treatment efficacy for nostril height ratio (0.86 ± 0.09 versus 0.85 ± 0.09; p > 0.05) and columellar angle (84.0 ± 4.5 degrees versus 85.3 ± 2.6 degrees; p > 0.05). Although the Grayson technique was more effective for reducing nostril width ratio (1.21 ± 0.29 versus 1.27 ± 0.19, p = 0.05), it was less efficient (i.e., required more adjustments) (10.9 ± 2.5 versus 8.8 ± 1.9; p < 0.001) and had a higher incidence of mucosal ulceration (23 percent versus 3 percent; p < 0.05). Conclusions: The two nasoalveolar molding techniques differed in efficacy, efficiency, and incidence of complications in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip-cleft and palate. Understanding these differences may help surgeons and orthodontists improve outcome expectations and consultations with patients families. Clinical Question/Level of Evidence: Therapeutic, III.
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