Condition: Cleft Lip/Palate

Common Dental Problems and Considerations for Provision of Dental Care:

  • Missing teeth in the area of the cleft
  • Malformed teeth in the area of the cleft
  • Other missing and malformed teeth in maxilla and mandible
  • Enamel pitting
  • Malocclusion – typically class III occlusal relationship, maxillary arch transverse and AP deficiency
  • Dental caries risk increased because of oral hygiene challenges, tooth positioning

Recommendations for Dental Care:

  • Dental examination by the first year, earlier if molding appliance to be used prior to cleft surgery
  • Regular dental recalls every 6 months or more frequent if dental caries risk is high

Dental Specialties Typically Involved in Care:

  • Pediatric/general dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Recommended Resources

1. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Clinical Affairs Committee; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Clinical Affairs. Policy on management of patients with cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies. Pediatr Dent. 2005-2006;27(7 Reference Manual):187-8. PMID: 16541921

1. Glenny AM, Hooper L, Shaw WC, Reilly S, Kasem S, Reid J. Feeding interventions for growth and development in infants with cleft lip, cleft palate or cleft lip and palate. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD003315. PMID: 15266479