A cleft lip and cleft palate are fissures or split in the upper lip and roof of the mouth (palate), respectively. These conditions develop when the child is still in the womb in the developmental stage. A cleft lip and palate are among the most commonly encountered congenital disabilities and could be caused due to inherited genetic disorders.
When there is a significant separation between both sides of the child's lip, it is termed as a cleft lip. Though the condition does not have any significant functional or health-related concerns, it could ruin the child's facial aesthetics. As the child grows up, it could result in frequent embarrassment, leading to a loss of confidence. A cleft palate is a similar condition, where there is a significant fissure in the palate. These conditions can make it difficult to feed the baby, and negatively affect swallowing food, speaking, and lead to chronic ear infections.
It may require one or two surgeries to treat a cleft lip, based on the severity of the condition. It is usually conducted by the time the baby is three months old. On the other hand, treating a cleft palate could be slightly more complicated, which is why it takes more time to treat and multiple visits to the dentist's practice.
The dentist will conduct a thorough diagnosis and determine the best way to treat the condition. Various factors, such as the baby's health condition, breathing pattern, the extent of the aperture, the jaw's alignment, etc. will be considered. After the surgery is conducted, additional surgery may be required to enhance facial aesthetics and get rid of the scars left after the initial surgery. In the case of a cleft palate, a bone graft may be required. The dentist will discuss the best treatment means with you.
Please do reach out to us on call or by scheduling an online consultation with our dental professionals, and we'll be glad to assist you further.