Cleft Lip and Palate
Restore Facial Appearance and Function
When an infant’s face develops in the womb, the left and right sides grow separately until they eventually join together. In some cases, proper development does not occur, and the two sides are unable to connect, resulting in a gap. This space, often called a cleft, is most common in the upper lip or the roof (palate) of the mouth. A baby can be born with a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both.
Risks of a Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 1,600 babies in the United States are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. These birth defects can cause problems for a child’s appearance and oral function. Surgery to treat a cleft can improve the child’s face, as well as the ability to breathe, hear, speak, and develop language. With treatment, most children with clefts do well and lead healthy lives.
The palate, which most people know as the roof of the mouth, helps facilitate proper oral function by separating the nose and mouth. The separation ensures that food and air are not traveling between the mouth and nose during eating and breathing, which could cause more serious health problems.
Often, several surgeries are performed to close the gap in the palate. Our team can perform the first procedure when the child is still young, as well as any subsequent procedures as the child ages and the palate grows.
Similar to cleft palate, a cleft in the lip refers to a gap. A cleft lip makes it incredibly difficult for babies to nurse properly, which can result in poor nutrition and other problems. Our team can perform surgery when the baby is still young to correct the gap and prevent malnutrition.
Cleft Lip and Palate at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Illinois
Early treatment of a cleft lip and/or cleft palate is crucial to correcting the conditions and restoring oral function. Our practice utilizes advanced 3D CBCT scanning technology and offers a wide variety of anesthesia and sedation options to ensure your child feels comfortable during any procedure.Our doctors have undergone extensive training in the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery and are highly qualified to treat clefts of all types and severity. Contact one of our offices to learn more or to schedule a consultation appointment.