What We Treat

At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders, we evaluate and treat craniofacial (head and face) conditions in children from birth to age 21. Children may be born with craniofacial birth defects or may develop a condition through injury or disease.

Our highly skilled doctors and staff are dedicated to your child’s comfort, safety and outcomes. Children are not just small adults, and that’s why we use specialized child-friendly techniques and equipment to provide the right care for your child.

We treat the full range of craniofacial conditions, including:

Abnormal skull shape

  • Apert syndrome
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • Pfeiffer syndrome
  • Saethre-Chotzen syndrome

Cleft lip and palate

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Craniofacial clefts
  • Pierre Robin syndrome

Dentofacial and maxillofacial deformities

  • Chin deformities
  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • Malocclusion
  • Pre-prosthetic surgery
  • Trauma to the jaws
  • Upper and/or lower jaw deformities

Ear deformities

  • Goldenhar syndrome
  • Hemifacial microsomia
  • Microtia
  • Prominent or constricted ears

Other syndromes and conditions

  • Hypertelorbitism
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Traumatic injury
  • Tumors
  • Velo-Cardio-Facial syndrome
  • Velopharyngeal dysfunction

Services We Offer

The Children’s Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders is one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind in the Southeast region. We identify craniofacial conditions and treat them using surgery, therapy and rehabilitation.

Our specialized pediatric services include:

Cleft lip and palate care

At Children’s, our pediatric plastic surgeons provide care for approximately 150 new cleft lip and palate cases each year. We are one of only a few pediatric hospitals in the Southeast to offer this unique multispecialty approach. Our highly skilled and experienced surgeons can help your child gain function and a more typical appearance.

Multiple surgeries are usually required and are planned to occur with your child’s facial growth. Some of the surgeries will be done when your child is very young and some when your child is older and more developed.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

Guide for families


We provide full dental care for children from birth to age 21 who have craniofacial disorders and other medical conditions. Our team works together with many different departments at Children’s to serve all of your child’s dental needs. We offer everything from cleanings to complex dental surgeries.

Our dental services include:

  • Dental health education
  • Orthodontics
  • Pit and fissure sealants
  • Preventive dental services
  • Restorative and surgical dental procedures
  • Sedation and general anesthesia services

To schedule an appointment, call 404-785-2072.

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Learn more about our dentistry and orthodontics services

Maxillofacial surgery

We provide evaluation and surgical treatment for children with abnormalities in their head, face or mouth. Our oral and maxillofacial pediatric surgeons work closely with dentists, orthodontists and other members of the Children’s craniofacial team. We offer outpatient, inpatient and short-stay services.

Our services include:

  • Consultation on oral or facial lesions
  • Evaluation and treatment of congenital (present at birth) deformities, such as cleft lip and palate and craniofacial deformities
  • Evaluation and treatment of traumatic deformities, such as midface and mandibular (jaw) fractures and soft tissue facial trauma
  • Orthognathic surgery to correct skeletal irregularities of the jaw

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

Orthodontic services

We provide orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. Our pediatric orthodontists work closely with other members of the Children’s craniofacial team to treat children with dental-facial problems such as jaw deformities, cleft lip and palate and midfacial anomalies.

To schedule an appointment, call 404-785-2072.

Learn more about our dentistry and orthodontics services

Plastic surgery

Our pediatric plastic surgeons provide the only service of its kind in a four-state area of the Southeast. Our goal is to help kids and teens with congenital or acquired craniofacial conditions improve their quality of life. We use the appropriate child-sized equipment and techniques to promote safe anesthesia and optimal surgical results.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

Learn more about our plastic surgery services

Speech Pathology Lab

At the Children’s Speech Pathology Laboratory, we diagnose speech problems and work to create a treatment plan to help your child communicate. Once your child’s condition is identified, we’ll refer you to the appropriate specialists who can help with surgery, prosthetics and more.

Some issues we can help your child with include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Hypernasality
  • Hyponasality
  • Unclear speech

Trouble with speech can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Feeding disorders
  • Head and neck tumors
  • Neurological disorders
  • Paralyzed vocal folds
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vocal fold nodules

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 404-785-KIDS (5437).

When you bring your child to Children’s Center for Craniofacial Disorders, you can expect leading-edge treatment from a highly skilled team.

Some of our treatments include:

  • Mandibular distraction: Mandibular distraction is an option that provides relief from micrognathia (abnormally small jawbone) by opening the airway and improving the child’s ability to eat. A device called a distractor is attached during surgery. The device is later adjusted to gradually lengthen the jawbone. Children’s Center for Craniofacial Disorders pioneered the use of resorbable distractors that eliminate the need for a second surgery to remove the devise.
  • Nasal alveolar molding (NAM): Prior to surgery to repair a cleft lip, some children require orthodontic treatment in order to guide the growth of their mouth in the right direction. Children’s was among the first craniofacial centers in the country to offer the NAM device. We are the only center in the Southeast to offer this treatment.
  • Bone substitutes (hydroxyapatite cement): Hydroxyapatite cement is a ceramic bone substitute that can be used as a putty to fill cranial (skull) and orbital (eye socket) defects.
  • Endoscopic torticollis treatment: Torticollis (a condition that restricts neck movement) can be corrected using a minimally invasive procedure. Doctors can operate using a small telescope with an attached video camera that is inserted through a tiny incision.
  • Laser treatment of hemangiomas: Children’s is one of very few centers in the nation to offer laser technology to treat hemangiomas (red growth caused by an abnormal collection of blood vessels). We use a combination of lasers to selectively damage the vessels in the hemangioma without damaging the overlying skin.

Our Unique Approach

We understand the unique needs of your child, and we partner with you and your family to develop the best possible treatment plan. Our dedication to family-centered care means that you become a partner in your child’s healing. Your child is supported by a collaborative team of pediatric experts, including plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists, orthodontists, dentists and more.

Meet the Team

Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders team

Led by Joseph Williams, MD, FACS, FAAP, Chief of Plastic Surgery and Medical Director of the Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders, our team includes the following pediatric specialists:

Pediatric Plastic Surgeons

Pediatric Orthodontist

Pediatric Dentist

Speech Language Pathologists

  • Kazlin Mason, PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief of Speech and Language Research
  • John E. Riski, PhD, Director of Speech Pathology Lab