The result is a gap in the fetal face. These clefts can affect the lip, philtrum, alveolus, and hard and soft palate to varying degrees. Overall there is a broad spectrum of severity ranging from minimal defects e. The estimated incidence of isolated facial clefts may be as high as 1 in births 1.
Cleft lip and cleft palate - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Our patients are cared for at Stony Brook Children's Hospital , which offers the most advanced pediatric specialty care in our region. The birth of a child with a craniofacial abnormality can be a difficult time for family, friends, and relatives. Organized in , the team has been a resource for care and support to the families of several hundred children from Suffolk and Nassau counties. One child in approximately is born with a facial cleft. These children and their families are best cared for by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals to assure that the physical and emotional needs of the child and family are met. The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association recommends that each child be followed by a cleft palate team. Team visits are arranged so that our specialists can evaluate each child in an open, friendly environment and respond to the questions and concerns of each family.
Meaningful correction of the cleft lip can be achieved only when the surgeon fully appreciates both the normal and the pathological spatial relationships and functions of the anatomic elements, particularly the muscular elements, which cause the deformity Fig. The treatment goal is to obtain morpho-functional balance between the soft tissues and the skeleton, not only by re-establishing normal insertions of all the nasolabial muscles but also by restoring the normal positioning of all of the other soft tissues, including the mucocutaneous elements. The dentist will then be able to identify and correct any existing dysfunction as early as possible and by the most appropriate means. Among the surgical means at our disposal are secondary functional cheilorhinoplasty, alveolar bone grafting, functional genioplasty and orthognathic surgery, the goals of which are to improve occlusion, nasal respiration, labial and labiomental function, and global facial harmony. This paper reviews some aspects of primary cleft surgery that will affect the future dental care of these young patients.