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Cleft lip and/or Cleft palate are congenital defects which affect the palate ( the roof of the mouth), the underlying bone structure, and/or the upper lip. With clefts, the soft and/ or the hard tissues do not close completely during pregnancy. Babies with cleft palates develop problems with speaking and tooth development, leading to missing teeth, issues with feeding, an increased number of ear infections, and/or hearing problems.
Q: How will cleft lip and/or palate be repaired?
A: Because this issue leads to so many problems, individuals with clefts very often are seen by a group of health and dental professionals working together. Such teams may include some or all of the following specialists; a speech pathologist, plastic and oral surgeons, a pediatric dentist, prosthodontists, and orthodontists.
Q: What is the role of the prosthodontist for these patients?
A: A prosthodontist will help provide early help and intervention with nasoalveolar molding. This involves a custom made mouthpiece for use in infants to help guide palate growth around the clefts. Such a device may also mold the baby’s nose, making any required procedures more likely to be successful. The prosthodontist also works with older patients to replace teeth that didn’t form because of the cleft. A denture may be required to help in function, speech, and esthetics.
NOVA Premier Dental helps with this problem through offering our various Services.