Cleft / Lip Palate
During pregnancy, the fetus develops rapidly, and different areas of the body are starting to form together and work in conjunction with one another. Separate areas of the face will start to develop individually and then later on, join with one another. One of the areas that we pay attention to is the left and right sides of the roof of the mouth and the lips. When these areas do not join together properly, the sections do not meet with one another and the unborn child has a cleft. If the separation is present at the upper lip, then the child has a cleft lip.
A formed lip is important because it not only provides for a normal facial appearance, but it allows for certain sounds that are made while talking and it allows for sucking as well. A cleft lip is a condition where there is an opening in the upper lip directly between the nose and mouth. When looking at the cleft lip, it will appear as though there is a split in the lip itself and this split appearance can range from a small notch on the colored portion of the lip up to a complete separation of the lip on one side or both that extends to the nose. Dr. Brandon Kang explains that a cleft that is present on one side is a unilateral cleft and one that occurs on both sides is a bilateral cleft.
It is also possible for a cleft to occur within the gum and it is associated with a cleft lip. There may be a small notch on the gum or there may be a complete division of the gums in different areas. This defect is similar to a cleft lip but is referred to as a cleft palate.
Treatment for Cleft Lip
At Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center, our experienced oral surgeon, Dr. Brandon Kang, offers cleft lip surgery in our Oakland and San Francisco offices. The surgery is performed when a child reaches the age of 10 and the goal of said surgery is to close the separation to provide a normal shape to the mouth and restore function of the muscle. A nostril deformity is often improved once the procedure is completed; however, if it is not, then a subsequent surgical procedure may be needed.
Treatment for Cleft Palate
Dr. Brandon Kang offers treatment for a cleft palate in our San Francisco and Oakland offices. The treatment occurs when the child is somewhere between 7 to 18 months old. The timeframe for the surgery will depend on the child’s overall health.
The major goals for cleft palate surgery is to help close the gap between the roof of the mouth and the nose, make the palate long enough to perform its function correctly, and reconnect the muscles needed for movement.
Schedule a Consultation in Our Oakland or San Francisco Office Today
Surgery of the cleft palate and cleft lip are generally successful, and most children will not need any subsequent surgeries. When you come into our office for a consultation, Dr. Kang will discuss treatment options and the predicted outcomes of the procedures.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center, do call our office today. We offer cleft lip and cleft palate treatment in both Oakland, CA and San Francisco, CA.
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Bay Area Oral Surgeon, Dr. Brandon Kang, manages a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth, and facial regions. For more information about the oral and maxillofacial surgery services we provide, or to schedule a consultation,
contact us at 510-227-8099
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