Palate Surgery

Dr. McKinney of Sandstone Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has a passion about helping children in need of cleft lip or cleft palate surgery. It is a critical treatment which can help with the peace of mind of many young patients.

A cleft palate is initially treated with surgery safely when the child is between 7 to 18 months old. This depends upon the individual child.

CleftpalateThe major goals of surgery are to:

  • Close the gap or hole between the roof of the mouth and the nose.
  • Reconnect the muscles that make the palate work.
  • Make the repaired palate long enough so that the palate can perform its function properly.

There are many different techniques surgeons use to accomplish this. The choice of techniques will be discussed between the parents and the oral surgeon prior to surgery.

The cleft hard palate is generally repaired between the ages of 8 and 12 when the cuspid teeth begin to develop. The procedure involves placement of bone from the hip into the bony defect, and closure of the communication from the nose to the gum tissue in three layers. It may also be performed in teenagers and adults as an individual procedure or combined with corrective jaw surgery.