An oral surgeon does more than just remove teeth. Oral surgeons take care of more complex procedures, such as impacted wisdom teeth. DentAbout lists a number of other procedures conducted by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Included in the list are jaw surgery, facial reconstruction, and correcting oral birth defects. An oral surgeon can also provide treatment for birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Why Cleft Lip/Palate Should be Corrected
Correcting cleft lip/palate is less about cosmetics and more about functionality. It’s easy to see that these are anatomical defects and thus, creates many different complications that can make a child’s life difficult:
Difficulty in Feeding. This is more pronounced in the case of cleft palate. The roof of the mouth is incomplete, making feeding difficult. During infancy, breastfeeding becomes a challenge as the baby can’t suck properly. Liquids may pass through the opening and into the nostrils.
Problems with Speech. The passage of air is important in speaking. Since the malformations affect this, articulation is affected. A nasal voice quality is common among those with cleft lip/palate. It also causes delay in speech learning.
Infections in the Ear or Hearing Loss. Medicine Net states that children with cleft lip/palate are more prone to persistent ear infections and, consequently, fluid accumulation in the eardrum. In the worst case scenario, this may lead to hearing loss.
Dental Problems. Cleft lip/palate commonly comes with dental issues, like malformed or missing teeth. Such issues lead to impairment in upper jawbone function. Orthodontic treatments are often necessary.
Emotional Drawbacks. True for any birth defects, a cleft lip/palate can take an emotional toll on the whole family. It only grows more apparent as the child grows. With the functional difficulties and concerns listed above, it also causes difficulty in daily interactions that may cause the child to lose confidence.
The most important factor in successful treatment is patience from both the parents and the patient. Treatment involves multiple surgical procedures across a number of years. The parents must coordinate with their child’s pediatrician for guidance on what needs to be done.
The oral surgeon would be one part of the team that will take care of the treatment. His role would be to correct any dental impairment and restore proper upper jawbone function. Residents of Pennsylvania areas, like Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd, can find oral surgeons like Anthony Farole, D.M.D. when in need of cleft palate treatment.
What Does An Oral Surgeon Do And What Procedures Do They Perform?, DentAbout
Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip, Medicine Net