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Treatment

We provide the following overview for our families to understand that we view children with facial clefts and their parents as part of our extended family from birth through adolescence and in adulthood.   

We believe that a long term relationship with our doctors and cleft team will help the children to have fulfilling lives.

Birth to 1st Birthday

Visits every 3-6 months  

  • Feeding evaluation and assistance 
  • Genetic counseling 
  • Speech assessment 
  • Hearing Evaluation 
  • Psychology assistance 
  • Pediatrician specialized in cleft condition 
  • Orthodontist and Prosthodontist Team  
    • Naso-Alveolar Molding 
  • Plastic Surgeon
    • Cleft Lip Repair 2 month to 3 months of age 
    • Cleft Palate Repair 6 months to 9 months of age 
  • Ear Surgeon
    • Ear Exam and Pressure Equalizing Tubes 
At the time of the Lip Repair and Palate Repair 


1st Birthday to the 5th Birthday

Visits every 6-12 months

  • Pediatric dentist for good oral care habits 
  • Early intervention to help the baby with needed therapy 
  • Speech pathologist to help with speech and language development  
  • Hearing Evaluation 
  • Psychologist for emotional and social support 
  • Pediatrician specialized in cleft condition 

5th Birthday to the 12th Birthday

Annual team visits  
Other Specialists per plan of care  

  • Orthodontists to begin assessment for first set of braces 
  • Continued pediatric dentistry to ensure oral health 
  • Continued speech assessment and need for therapy 
  • Surgery to help with speech is sometimes needed 
  • Continued psychology assistance for emotional and social support 
  • Assistance with children entering school 
  • Repair the cleft in the gum line for dental development (Alveolar Cleft Palate Bone Graft) 

12th Birthday to the 18th Birthday

Annual team visits   
Other Specialists per plan of care   

  • Initial prosthodontic assessment with the orthodontist 
  • Continued orthodontic assessment and need for second set of braces 
  • Continued pediatric dentistry to ensure oral health 
  • Continued speech assessment and need for therapy 
  • Continued psychology assistance for emotional and social support through adolescence 
  • Surgical reconstruction
    • Jaw Surgery 
    • Cleft lip revision 
    • Cleft nasal reconstruction 
    • Possible further speech surgery 
    • Dental implants

18th Birthday to the 21th Birthday

Visit every 6 months     

  • Completing care: Final reconstruction 
  • Transitioning to Adult care 

Adulthood

Visit every 2-3 years and as needed

Knowing about your child's skull 

Your baby's skull has joints (skull sutures) to help allow the brain to expand. Each of the skull joints has a specific name.

How the skull and brain grow 

By the time it is your baby's first birthday, your baby's head will have grown three times the size from when your baby was born.  

After the first birthday the skull continues to grow, but each year slower and slower.  By the time your child enters elementary school, most of the skull expansion is done.  It is important to remember that most brain and skull growth is the  first year. So if a skull joint is fused, the skull does not allow the brain to grow normally.

The Different Head Shapes from a Fused Skull Joint 

When one or more of the skull joints is fused, then the skull can not grow normally and this may affect the brain development. This condition is called craniosynostosis.  These are some of the ways the skull is affected.