During fetal development, two sides of the mouth and lips join together in the middle. A cleft lip and/or palate occurs when part of this development fails to occur. A cleft can mean a split in the lip and/or the roof of the mouth. Infants with a cleft palate require special bottles and devices to feed properly. Common issues from a cleft lip and palate include ear infections, hearing problems, and dental issues.
Treatment of Cleft Lip & Palate
The successful treatment of a cleft lip or palate requires a team of medical and dental professionals, such as an oral surgeon, a speech therapist, an ear specialist, and an orthodontist. Other specialists may also be involved, depending on the severity of the condition.
The correction of a cleft lip and palate often requires multiple procedures as a child develops. Because of their specialized understanding of the facial structure and aesthetics and extensive surgical background, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is often a part of most of these procedures, including pediatric patients.
Surgical Phase of Treatment
In general, the treatment of a cleft lip is more straightforward than treatment of a cleft palate. The first surgery for a cleft lip takes place around the age of 3 months; for a cleft palate, the first surgery usually takes place between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Another procedure around the age of 8 years is common, with additional surgeries after as the child develops.
Cleft Lip & Palate Treatment at Oral Surgery Services
At Oral Surgery Services, you and your loved ones are in good hands. Our oral surgeons are trained and experienced in the treatment of cleft lip and palate at all stages, including pediatric. If your child has a cleft lip and palate, look no further than Oral Surgery Services. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.