Team of health professionals who treat cleft lip or palate

Often, several doctors and other health professionals will help care for a child with cleft lip and/or cleft palate. The team may include primary care health professionals, surgeons, dentists and orthodontists, and a variety of therapists. The staff at most large hospitals can help you to know who you need to see and when. They can also help you schedule appointments.

Primary care health professionals

If your child is born with cleft lip and/or palate, your primary care health professionals may include:

Specialists

A child born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate needs ongoing evaluation from medical specialists. Sometimes, ongoing procedures or surgery may be needed.

Specialists include:

  • Dentists , especially pediatric dentists, and other doctors who have trained in dental problems related to facial deformities, such as maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, and prosthodontists.
  • Plastic surgeons .
  • Otolaryngologists or ENTs (specialists in care of the ears, nose, and throat).

Specialized therapists

Depending on the exact nature of the problems, a child born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate may need specialized therapy. A wide range of services are available to screen for and treat specific issues, such as speech, hearing, or mental health problems. You may consult:

Last Updated: January 21, 2010

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology

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