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Expert Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Repair

Cleft lip and cleft palate are two common but markedly different birth defects that affect about one in every 700 newborns. These developmental deformities occur in the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, cleft lip in week seven and cleft palate in week nine. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur simultaneously in about half of all cases and separately in approximately a quarter of all cases. A cleft lip is essentially a separation of the two sides of the lip. In many cases, this separation will include the bone and gum of the upper jaw. A cleft palate occurs when the sides of the palate fail to fuse as the fetus is developing, which results in an opening in the roof of the mouth. At Sinada Dental, we offer cleft lip and cleft palate repair in Houston, TX performed by expert oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

woman holding toddler with cleft lip and palate
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Types of Cleft Deformities

The cleft deformities are categorized according to their location in the mouth and the size of the defect. Listed below are the different categories of cleft deformities:

  • Unilateral Incomplete: A cleft on only one side of the mouth that does not extend as far as the nostril.
  • Unilateral Complete: A cleft on only one side of the mouth that extends into the corresponding nostril.
  • Bilateral Complete: Larger clefts affecting both sides of the mouth which each extend as far as the nostril.
  • Microform Cleft: A mild case of cleft lip which may simply form a bump on the lip, or a small scar line extending toward the nostril.

Reasons to Consider Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Correction

Cleft lip and cleft palate are highly treatable deformities, though it may take a whole team of different specialists to fully treat them. The prognosis for sufferers who receive corrective treatment is excellent: medically, physically, dentally, and emotionally. However, people who don’t undergo the treatment could be at risk for the following issues:

Speech Problems

Children born with cleft deformity are likely to experience speech problems unless treatment is sought. Speech problems are detrimental to a child’s social and emotional development.

Feeding Issues

Babies with a cleft palate or a complete cleft lip have problems drinking milk. The gap means that liquids can pass from the mouth to the nasal cavity. This can be dangerous unless the child is fed sitting upright.

Hearing Loss & Frequent Ear Infections

A cleft palate can cause the eustachian tubes (connecting the throat to the ear) to be incorrectly positioned. The fluid build-up which results from this poor positioning can lead to painful middle ear infections. Severe and prolonged ear infections can lead to complete hearing loss.

Dental Issues

Abnormalities in the upper jaw, gum, or arch can cause teeth to become impacted (unable to erupt) or absent completely. The shape of the mouth might not permit proper brushing which can lead to periodontal disease and tooth decay.

What Does Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Repair Involve?

During cleft lip or cleft palate repair, the surgeon will initially work to close the cleft openings in the first six months of the child’s life. Unfortunately, this does not cure the dental problems that occur as a result of cleft lip and cleft palate defects. The dentist will perform a thorough examination of the teeth surrounding the deformity. Panoramic X-rays will generally be taken to allow the dentist to determine the best course of treatment.

The dentist may implant teeth to fill resulting gaps and/or place braces on the teeth in order to correctly align the upper arch. These treatments will restore functionality to the jaw and improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile. Dental restoration work can generally be performed under local anesthetic and will not require an overnight stay.

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Why Choose Sinada Dental for Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate Repair?

Our team at Sinada Dental consists of skilled dentists as well as experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These complementary specialties allow our providers to deliver comprehensive, high-quality results when administering cleft lip and cleft palate repair in Houston. Throughout the treatment, you or your child will be treated with compassion and personalized care in a peaceful, low-stress environment. If you’d like to learn more or begin the treatment process, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.

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Your teeth and mouth are the backbone to a healthy and beautiful life. You deserve trusted hands and veteran dentists by your side. Whether its cosmetic dentistry, maxillofacial surgery, or even just a general cleaning, we know how to provide the utmost in comfort, care and results.

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