How Bryant Family Dentistry Treats Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
What Is a Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate?
A cleft lip is a common birth defect in which the two sides of the upper lip don’t seal together during fetal development like they’re supposed to. When this happens with the roof of the mouth, it’s called a cleft palate. A child could have one or the other or they could have both. These defects can be the result of something the mother was exposed to during pregnancy or they could be genetic. Cleft lip and cleft palate can cause difficulties with eating and speaking, and they can also contribute to ear infections and dental alignment problems.
Surgery Can Repair Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft lip and palate can usually be corrected surgically. Diagnosis typically happens at birth, although sometimes minor cases of cleft palate go unnoticed at first. Corrective surgery is ideally done when the child is between three and six months old. More severe defects may require multiple surgeries, and further treatment (such as orthodontics and speech therapy) is often necessary in the years after the initial surgery or surgeries.
How Can Dr. Bryant Help?
Cleft lip and palate repair is a team effort between doctors such as an oral surgeon, a pediatric dentist, an orthodontist, and a plastic surgeon. Dr. Bryant is an experienced member of the treatment team that will give your child a functional lip and/or palate with a more natural appearance. If your child has a cleft, call (865) 693 -7631 to schedule an examination or email us with any questions you have.