A cleft palate often creates problems with the upper jaw and teeth. These problems can almost always be solved over time by treatment from a skilled pediatric dental team.
Your child's pediatric dental team is an important part of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Craniofacial team. Members of a pediatric dental team may include a pediatric dentist, an orthodontist, a prosthodontist, dental hygienists and assistants, and a craniofacial surgeon.
Your child's pediatric dental team can take a number of steps (which may be spaced over years) to correct problems with your child's teeth and jaws.
Occlusion is the way the upper and lower teeth fit together when the mouth is closed. A cleft palate may affect the size and shape of the upper jaw and cause a poor fit.
Altered Facial Appearance
The shape of your child's face may be affected by a cleft in his upper jaw. Such problems can be treated and corrected over time.
Early or Late Appearance of Teeth
The teeth in the cleft area may appear earlier or later than the teeth around them. This is caused by how they are positioned in the jaw. These teeth may grow into a normal position. More often, however, they will need to be straightened.
Missing, Extra and Poorly Formed Teeth
Like any other child, a child with a cleft palate may have a number of problems as teeth grow into the mouth. Poorly formed teeth are more likely to develop tooth decay. Your pediatric dentist will discuss all problems and review treatment options with you as needed.
Return to the top