|Make a Prosthodontist Part of Your Child’s Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment Team
Posted on 6/15/2022 by Neil Starr DDS PC
|Choosing a team of medical professionals is vital to treat a child’s cleft lip and palate, and a prosthodontist is an important member of the team.
Correcting the imperfect formation of a structure as complex as the nasal, mucosal, and oral cavities of a newborn can be very difficult. Physical repair is obviously important, but for complete cleft lip and palate treatment, additional support is required, including speech therapists, auditory specialists, and doctors who specialize in ear, nose, and throat health.
So, how can a periodontist help solve this issue, and why are they such an important part of cleft lip and palate treatment?
Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment During Early Development
According to the American College of Prosthodontics, about one in 2,500 children are born with a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both, in varying degrees of severity. Once the diagnosis is confirmed through ultrasound before birth or immediately after birth, the primary concern for doctors and parents is the infant’s ability to feed and swallow. Secondary concerns include the possibility of chronic nasal and ear infections.
From the very earliest stages, the mission of your child’s prosthodontist is to aid in the correct formation of the nose, upper gums, and upper lip. This is accomplished through a procedure called nasoalveolar molding. This process is non-invasive and painless, producing results by guiding the soft tissues into the correct shape. Through this procedure and with other prosthetics that your child will use as they grow, your prosthodontist’s experience will provide a more comfortable experience.
Proper Speech Development and Dental Health
One worrying issue that children with a cleft lip or cleft palate have is learning to speak. It can be difficult to understand a child who is unable to form clear sounds with irregularities on the roof of their mouth, and it can drain a child’s confidence to even try.
As speech therapists and your child’s pediatrician care for their psychological progress, your prosthodontist will continually evaluate your child’s oral health and proper formation as they age. The shape and use of each prosthesis used are unique to every individual. Working with a prosthodontist is especially important for children who have not received early surgical treatment or are unable to undergo necessary such surgery. Prosthetics can also help children and youth with poor neuromuscular strength, as they can help shape the soft palate and provide the muscles a chance to strengthen.
As children grow into adolescence, the need for confidence and self-esteem is an absolute necessity. Even if they have struggled to find permanent solutions, the right prosthesis can improve breathing, aid with clear speech, and maintain structure for future oral health. Together with therapists, surgeons, nurses, and your family doctor, your child will be able to overcome this condition and lead a happy life.
Call Neil L. Starr, DDS, in Washington D.C. for Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment
If your child was born with a cleft lip or palate, you can rely on Doctor Neil L. Starr, DDS, to play an essential role in your child’s treatment and development plan. Contact our office today or call us at (202)-293-7177 for an evaluation. We proudly serve Rockville, McLean, Fairfax City, Arlington City, and surrounding areas.