Patients who have a cleft lip or palate face numerous dental issues regarding the number, shape, size, and position of their teeth. Often times children with a cleft require more dental work to help correct teeth that may have come in malformed or malpositioned.
Teeth that do not come in normally require the work of multiple specialists to correct the problem. An orthodontist will likely be brought in as well as an oral surgeon, maxillofacial prosthodontist, and a general dentist. This unique team will work together to create teeth that look and function normally for the patient.
Many patients with cleft have issues eating and speaking. A maxillofacial prosthodontist uses artificial teeth and dental appliances to help with the speaking and eating functionality of teeth. Repairing a cleft also requires numerous trips to the dentist and doctor. Dental extractions are often needed as well as braces to help align the teeth. It can seem daunting to patients and to their loved ones, but all the work helps to create a functional and normal appearance.
Cleft lip and palate patients should also follow a regular oral health routine. Daily flossing, brushing, rinsing with fluoride, and regular visits to the dentist ward off potential gum disease or gum infections!