Sandra Fastlicht, an Orthodontist, presented at a recent conference and emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork and pre-surgery orthodontic treatment:

 “As part of an interdisciplinary approach, Orthodontics plays an important role in the treatment of patients with cleft lip and palate at different stages.”

As early as the first week of life, pre-surgical nasoalveolar molding is initiated. This actively molds and repositions the alveolar processes and nasal cartilages.

Once the primary teeth have come in, the team orthodontist evaluates the soft tissue, dental and arch development. Planning is done at this stage for the orthodontic assessments and interventions required in the future. No active orthodontic treatment is usually required at this stage. This assessment is done in conjunction with speech, hearing and paediatric dentistry assessments.

Between 5 -8 years of age, a full team assessment is done. This provides an opportunity for the orthodontist to assess the facial growth, dental development, and plan the future orthodontic needs of the child. Some early orthodontic interventions may also be carried out in order to avoid asymmetric growth in the future.

Between 7 -11 years children, patients who have a dental arch collapse, palatal expansion followed by a bone graft.

Once all the permanent teeth have erupted, a detailed and comprehensive orthodontic analysis and treatment planning is undertaken. Critical decisions such as the need for orthognathic surgery, and the timing and sequencing of treatment are made at this time. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to provide a well aligned and functional jaw and mouth.

Comprehensive Care goes beyond a single surgery. Our local teams provide children with the full spectrum of care that will allow them to eat, speak, hear and develop socially.