Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip (cont.)
In this Article
- What is a cleft palate and cleft lip?
- Who gets cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What causes a cleft lip and cleft palate?
- How are cleft lip and cleft palate diagnosed?
- What problems are associated with cleft lip and/or cleft palate?
- Who treats children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate?
- What's the treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate?
- What is the prognosis for children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate?
- Do children with cleft lips or cleft palates have special dental needs?
- Find a local Plastic Surgeon in your town
Who Treats Children With Cleft Lip and/or Palate?
Due to the number of oral health and medical problems associated with a cleft lip or cleft palate, a team of doctors and other specialists is usually involved in the care of these children. Members of a cleft lip and palate team typically include:
- Plastic surgeon to evaluate and perform necessary surgeries on the lip and/or palate
- An otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat doctor) to evaluate hearing problems and consider treatment options for hearing problems
- An oral surgeon to reposition segments of the upper jaw when needed, to improve function and appearance and to repair the cleft of the gum
- An orthodontist to straighten and reposition teeth
- A dentist to perform routine dental care
- A prosthodontist to make artificial teeth and dental appliances to improve the appearance and to meet functional requirements for eating and speaking
- A speech pathologist to assess speech and feeding problems
- A speech therapist to work with the child to improve speech
- An audiologist (a specialist in communication disorders stemming from a hearing impairment); to assess and monitor hearing
- A nurse coordinator to provide ongoing supervision of the child's health
- A social worker/psychologist to support the family and assess any adjustment problems
- A geneticist to help parents and adult patients understand the chances of having more children with these conditions
The health care team works together to develop a plan of care to meet the individual needs of each patient. Treatment usually begins in infancy and often continues through early adulthood.
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