A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate.
What is Cleft Palate?
The roof of the mouth (palate) is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy. For some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. For other babies, only part of the palate is open.
A nasoalveolar molding (NAM) device might be recommended to treat your child. A NAM is simply a retainer for a baby’s mouth that is adjusted weekly over a three to six month period of time. There’s no need to travel across the country either. NAM therapy is available right here in Lubbock at Double T Smiles.
By using the NAM appliance, Drs. Roger and Nadene Tipton are able to improve the baby’s nose shape and bring together the cleft segments prior to surgery. This type of therapy has been shown to improve the surgical results, along with potentially reducing the number of surgeries that the baby would need throughout his/her life.
Drs. Tipton received their training for NAM treatment at the New York University Medical Center in 2011 and work closely with the Lubbock Cleft Palate Team to deliver the best care to babies in Lubbock and surrounding areas.