Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Treatment
A cleft lip is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. This separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum.
A cleft palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. A cleft palate can involve the hard palate (the bony front portion of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (the soft back portion of the roof of the mouth).
A multidisciplinary team approach offers the most effective solutions for your cleft lip and/or palate child.
Dr. Seif can help in the diagnosis and treatment of cleft lip and palate conditions. As a member of the multidisciplinary team, she can obtain and analyze necessary records such as 3D x-rays, dental models and photographs that provide a detailed description of the bone and soft tissue deformities. By using her expertise in the growth and development of the face, Dr. Seif can identify and diagnose problem areas and work with a team of specialists to coordinate and execute the most effective treatment plan. For these reasons, a first orthodontic appointment may be scheduled before the child has any teeth so that we can assess your child’s facial growth, particularly jaw development.
Cleft lip and palate children often develop short and narrow upper jaw and mid face deficiency, which requires early orthodontic treatment. A functional appliance can be used to expand and advance the upper jaw to a more forward and normal position. Early treatment with a non-invasive functional appliance is important to develop the growth of the upper jaw and the midface, boost the child self-esteem, and reduce the possibility of the child’s need for future orthognathic surgery.
Once the child’s permanent teeth erupt, orthodontic treatment with braces can be utilized to align the teeth and to obtain a gorgeous smile.