A cleft lip is a condition that creates an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and nose. It looks as though there is a split in the lip. It can range from a slight notch in the colored portion of the lip to complete separation in one or both sides of the lip extending up and into the nose. A similar defect in the roof of the mouth is called a cleft palate.
In the event of a cleft lip and/or palate, the normal developing teeth, supporting structures and jaws can be malposition. Therefore our oral surgeons are trained to correct these conditions, creating a natural appearance and harmonious bite.
Typically the child will undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries:
- Orthodontics once permanent teeth begin to develop – As early as 6 years of age
- Removal of malformed teeth
- Repair of tooth bearing structures in a hospital setting– 10-12 years of age
- Continue with orthodontics
- Orthognathic Surgery – 14-18 years of age
- Finalize Orthodontics
Dependent upon the patient, there might be additional procedures necessary to replace teeth which are missing as the individual becomes a young adult.