What Is It?
Craniofacial orthodontics is the sub-specialty of orthodontics that focuses on the treatment of patients with congenital (born with) or acquired defects of the face and head. These conditions include cleft lip and palate, Pierre Robin Sequence, Craniosynostosis Syndromes (Apert, Crouzon, etc.), Hemifacial Microsomia, Treacher Collins Syndrome, Cleidocranial Dysostosis, etc. Their treatment requires age-appropriate coordinated medical, surgical, orthodontic and dental interventions to provide effective long-term outcomes. Craniofacial orthodontists receive additional training through a fellowship at dedicated craniofacial units, such as the Rush Craniofacial Center, of which we are founding members.
What Does Treatment Entail?
Orthodontic treatment for cleft lip and palate patients should not be extremely complex as long as the various treatment stages and recommendations are followed and coordinated with the craniofacial team following the patient. Treatment usually spans the first two decades of life. Each treatment stage should be done with specific goals to avoid unnecessary procedures and to decrease treatment time. However, parents and patients need to understand that due to the existing condition, treatment may take more time and will require working with other medical, surgical and dental specialists to obtain the best possible results.
Our doctors have the experience and education necessary to deliver cleft and craniofacial treatment for infants, children, adolescents, and adults. We are confident treating patients with clefts and other craniofacial conditions and have a long-standing interest and commitment to care for complex cases with various types of jaw and facial abnormalities.
Patients and parents may access additional resources related to these conditions by visiting the website for the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) acpa-cpf.org, or the website of the Cleft Palate Foundation at cleftline.org. The ACPA reports that patients born with craniofacial defects benefit the most when all providers work together as a multidisciplinary team, ensuring not only the best outcome but also the most effective utilization of health resources.
For questions regarding orthodontic treatment options for cleft and craniofacial patients please contact our office.