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Cleft lip and cleft palate in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA
Cleft lip and cleft palate in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA

Cleft Lip and Palate

Beneficial, Compassionate Care for Infants with Birth Defects

A cleft lip and palate occurs in utero when the bones and tissue of the jaw and mouth do not fully come together. This is a common birth defect that occurs early on in pregnancy. This split, or cleft, can range in severity, and surgery is recommended to restore the natural function and aesthetics of the face. When the lip or palate split, space created between the mouth and nasal passage makes it difficult for an infant to eat, speak, and nurse. Fortunately, most cleft lip and palate patients can successfully achieve normal facial function and appearance through appropriate surgical treatment.

If your child is born with a cleft lip or palate, our team of oral surgeons at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center can help restore function and aesthetics. Our experts are trained to work with patients of all ages, including pediatric cases. We understand that every case and child is different, and we work hard to develop a treatment plan that will best address your child’s long-term oral health needs. You can find our offices in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA.

What Causes a Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate?

A number of issues can occur during pregnancy that results in a maxillofacial birth defect. Some of these include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • The use of certain medications during pregnancy
  • A combination of genes

A child can be born with only a cleft lip, only a cleft palate, or both. Out of these three scenarios, infants born with both a cleft lip and palate are the most common. According to the CDC, 1 in every 1,600 babies are both with both of these birth defects.

Oral surgeons specialize in treating clefts because they focus care on all areas of the mouth and face. Proper treatment will ensure the baby breathes, eats, and speaks properly, and achieves aesthetically pleasing results with minimal scarring.

Treating Clefts in Infants

First, you and your child will visit one of our offices and meet with an oral surgeon. Our team may take safe 3D scans of the child’s mouth and face. We make every effort to keep both you and your child at ease throughout any type of treatment with us, and offer many anesthesia and sedation options to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Cleft Lip

Cleft lip surgery involves closing the gap between the two sides of the upper lip and usually occurs around 3 months of age. One surgery is usually enough to sufficiently repair the cleft and restore the overall function and appearance of the mouth and lips, but some cases may require an additional procedure later in life. If the nostril has been affected, then another surgery may be necessary to restore your child’s function and aesthetics.

Cleft Palate

Cleft palate surgery is often more involved than treatment for a cleft lip because the oral surgeon must alter the roof of the mouth, and it usually takes two or more operations to treat the cleft in its entirety. Between 7 and 18 months of age, the first surgery will create a functional palate and will separate the mouth from the nasal cavity. An additional procedure may be required later on, usually years after the initial repair surgery, if a small opening forms in the palate. Another surgery may also be necessary around 8 or 9 years old to prepare for the growth of the permanent teeth.

Treatment for Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA

A cleft lip and palate occurs in utero when the bones and tissue of the jaw and mouth do not fully come together. This is a common birth defect that occurs early on in pregnancy. This split, or cleft, can range in severity, and surgery is recommended to restore the natural function and aesthetics of the face. When the lip or palate split, space created between the mouth and nasal passage makes it difficult for an infant to eat, speak, and nurse. Fortunately, most cleft lip and palate patients can successfully achieve normal facial function and appearance through appropriate surgical treatment.

If your child is born with a cleft lip or palate, our team of oral surgeons at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center can help restore function and aesthetics. Our experts are trained to work with patients of all ages, including pediatric cases. We understand that every case and child is different, and we work hard to develop a treatment plan that will best address your child’s long-term oral health needs. You can find our offices in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA.

What Causes a Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate?

A number of issues can occur during pregnancy that results in a maxillofacial birth defect. Some of these include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • The use of certain medications during pregnancy
  • A combination of genes

A child can be born with only a cleft lip, only a cleft palate, or both. Out of these three scenarios, infants born with both a cleft lip and palate are the most common. According to the CDC, 1 in every 1,600 babies are both with both of these birth defects.

Oral surgeons specialize in treating clefts because they focus care on all areas of the mouth and face. Proper treatment will ensure the baby breathes, eats, and speaks properly, and achieves aesthetically pleasing results with minimal scarring.

Treating Clefts in Infants

First, you and your child will visit one of our offices and meet with an oral surgeon. Our team may take safe 3D scans of the child’s mouth and face. We make every effort to keep both you and your child at ease throughout any type of treatment with us, and offer many anesthesia and sedation options to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Cleft Lip

Cleft lip surgery involves closing the gap between the two sides of the upper lip and usually occurs around 3 months of age. One surgery is usually enough to sufficiently repair the cleft and restore the overall function and appearance of the mouth and lips, but some cases may require an additional procedure later in life. If the nostril has been affected, then another surgery may be necessary to restore your child’s function and aesthetics.

Cleft Palate

Cleft palate surgery is often more involved than treatment for a cleft lip because the oral surgeon must alter the roof of the mouth, and it usually takes two or more operations to treat the cleft in its entirety. Between 7 and 18 months of age, the first surgery will create a functional palate and will separate the mouth from the nasal cavity. An additional procedure may be required later on, usually years after the initial repair surgery, if a small opening forms in the palate. Another surgery may also be necessary around 8 or 9 years old to prepare for the growth of the permanent teeth.

Treatment for Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate in Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, and Madera, CA

If your child needs cleft lip or palate treatment, our oral surgeons can help. We will evaluate your child’s specific condition and determine the ideal treatment process. If you have been told by another medical professional that your child has or is developing a cleft, or believe your child may have been born with this condition, we invite you to contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment. Our team of experts specialize in caring for our cleft lip and cleft palate patients and their families so that every child can experience a healthy and fully functioning smile.

Types of Anesthesia

Our surgeons offer many options for anesthesia and sedation to ensure your comfort during treatment.

Providing Superior Patient Experiences and Outcomes

Our experts welcome you to our state-of-the-art offices, where we will improve your smile and health. Use the buttons below to learn more.