A specialty within the field of orthodontics.
Craniofacial orthodontics is a sub-specialty that focuses on the correction of certain birth defects, usually cleft lip and cleft palate. Treatment involves a team of doctors and therapists, including speech pathologists, oral surgeons, and plastic surgeons. Orthodontists who specialize in craniofacial orthodontics are just one part of this specialized team.
Craniofacial orthodontics focuses on the non-surgical aspects of treatment.
When part of the treatment team, an orthodontist will assist in evaluating the tooth and jaw development and growth. This means that the orthodontist is not involved in the surgery itself, but assists before and after. X-rays and models are some of the evaluations used to monitor the patient.
We assist in the treatment of both cleft lips and cleft palates.
Everyone starts out with a cleft lip and palate, but in most cases, they seal together before birth. Clefting remains in place after birth when there is insufficient tissue for them to seal. This happens early in fetal development, but the cause is unknown. This defect is more than just cosmetic and must be corrected. Cleft lips and palates can cause the following complications:
- Struggles with eating
- Food passing into the nose
- Speech difficulties
- Ear infections
- Dental problems
Treatment for these conditions starts early.
In most cases, the presence of a cleft lip or cleft palate will be known before birth. Surgery is required, and in some cases, more than one surgery will be needed. Most children with these conditions will have the operation at or before six months. We are happy to assist your child in their craniofacial treatment. Contact us to learn more.