Congenital anomalies – Cleft lip and palate

Cleft lip and palate is seen in one of every 1000 births in the community. Lip and palate development is completed between the 4th and 12th weeks of intrauterine life. During this period, various factors (consanguineous marriage, genetics, vitamin A deficiency, exposure of the mother to radiation during pregnancy, drug use, uncontrolled drug use, smoking of the mother or father, alcohol use, etc.) may cause cleft lip and palate.

The most important problem with birth is nutrition. At the same time, in order to shape the cleft palate and lip and nose, an appliance is made by the orthodontist within 1-2 days after birth. The purpose of shaping with this appliance is to minimize the scar tissue that will occur during both lip, nose and palate operations and to provide ideal aesthetics and function.

Lip operation is performed when the baby is 3-6 months old. Meanwhile, the plate continues to be used. The palate operation is performed at the age of 1 year.

Before speaking, a speech therapist should be contacted and the baby should receive speech training, because it is very difficult for some sounds to be formed in these babies due to the gap between the mouth and nose. The earlier speech therapy is started, the easier it will be for the baby to pronounce words correctly and learn to speak clearly.
The second meeting with the orthodontist should be around the age of 5-6, and this association should continue until the permanent teeth erupt properly. In patients with cleft lip and palate; Lack of teeth in the cleft line, upper jaw narrowness, upper jaw retardation, position disorders in the teeth may be seen due to the cleft line. With orthodontic treatment, position disorders in the teeth can be corrected in a timely manner. If necessary during the eruption of canine teeth, the cleft area is repaired with a bone graft.

Treatment team; consists of pediatricians, orthodontists, dentists, maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons, ear-nose-throat specialists, speech therapists, psychiatrists, pedodontists (pediatric dentists), and prosthodontists (dental prosthodontists).

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