Special Needs Series: Cleft Lips & Palates

At Dental on Central, we strive to offer full service dental care for all of your family members, including those with special needs.  One of the conditions we treat is cleft lip/palate.

What is Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate?

Cleft Lip and/or Palate forms during the first 6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy when parts of the lip and mouth fail to completely fuse together.  Cleft lip and palate can vary in severity, and most go undetected until after birth.  It’s one of the most common birth defects, affecting 1 or 2 babies in every 1,000 born in the United States.

How Does Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate Affect the Teeth?dental on central cleft lift

Cleft Lip/Palate can affect both the baby and permanent teeth, usually involving issues with the number, size, shape and position of the teeth.  Because of this, the cleft can produce a number of dental problems.  Additionally, clefts can cause problems with the gums or the bone that supports the teeth, called the alveolar ridge.

How is Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate Treated?

Most children with cleft lip and/or palate have surgery to correct the cleft before age 2.  Cleft lips are generally repaired between 3 and 6 months of age, and cleft palate is typically repaired later, between 9 and 12 months.  It’s possible further surgeries can be required to correct problems that come up with maturing facial structures.

Early Dental Care for Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate

Children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate can be more prone to dental problems, which makes dental care vital to a healthy mouth.  It’s recommended that the first dental visit be scheduled for one year of age or even earlier if there are dental problems.

Cleft Palate and/or Cleft Lip Dentistry at Dental on Central

Our team at Dental on Central has the expert knowledge to repair cleft palate and ensure your child receives the specialized care required for a healthy set of teeth and gums.  We also understand that emotional care is often just as important, especially for young children, and you can rest assured that your child’s fears will be respected and managed by our experienced team of pediatric dentists.

If you’re ready to set up an appointment or have questions, give us a call at 602-266-1776, or use our contact form.  We look forward to having you as a part of our family at Dental on Central.