Cleft Lip and Palate RepairAmong the most common birth defects, cleft lip and cleft palate affect approximately 1 in 800 babies born in North America. Luckily, treatment is available to help affected children live a healthy, normal life. Bluff Creek Dental in Chanhassen, Minnesota offers treatment for cleft lip and palate with children’s dentistry services you can count on.

What Are Cleft Lip & Palate?

Cleft lip and palate are birth defects resulting from the incomplete formation of anatomical structures during early pregnancy. The names vary based on the location of the impartial formation (either the lip or the roof of the mouth, referred to as the palate). These two conditions may occur separately or together.

The severity of the symptoms vary from case-to-case. Cleft lip and cleft palate are distinguishable by a separation or opening in the palate or lip. As a result, the individual may have difficulties with feeding and speech. Additionally, both conditions are associated with ear infections, hearing loss, and dental problems. To treat these symptoms and others that may arise, work with your children’s dentistry specialists to develop a treatment plan.

Causes & Risk Factors

Doctors know that cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital defects, meaning they’re present at birth. While experts assume they are genetic conditions, the cause has not yet been determined. Scientists believe cleft lip and cleft palate may be linked to certain factors during pregnancy, such as…

  • Certain medications
  • Viral illness
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Vitamin deficienc

Cleft Lip & Palate Treatment

Cleft palate and cleft lip are complex conditions requiring a team of medical professionals. In general, the first goal of treatment is to repair or “close” the gap in the lip and/or palate as soon as it is practical. Typically, this may be at as early as 2 to 9 months of age. However, your child may require several surgical procedures at different points in their childhood. In addition to your children’s dentist, you may work with an oral surgeon, an orthodontist, a plastic surgeon, or other specialists.

For the initial surgery, your child will receive intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, ensuring that he or she doesn’t experience any pain during the procedure. Both conditions rely on a specialized “flap” procedure; this consists of incisions to create “flaps” of tissue around the affected area. These flaps are then stitched together in order to close the gap. Contact your Chanhassen family dentist to learn more about the procedure and to address any concerns.


Depending on how complex the child’s condition is, follow-up procedures may be required after the initial treatment to fully correct any defects in form and function of the lips, teeth, and jaws. These follow up procedures may include plastic surgery, orthodontics, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and speech therapy. Our friendly staff at Bluff Creek Dental can provide you with a list of recommended specialists for consultations in these areas of treatment.

Visit Bluff Creek Dental

Cleft lip or cleft palate can be a daunting undertaking for the family of a newborn. Our team wants you to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Our children’s dentistry specialists at Bluff Creek Dental are eager to join your team as you begin treatment. With the proper care, your child can achieve a healthy and normal life. Stop by our office in Chanhassen, Minnesota to learn more or to set up a consultation. We look forward to working together on your child’s future. Book an appointment with us now!