Cleft Palate

Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr. specializes in craniofacial orthodontics. Not only does he treat patients with traditional orthodontic needs, such as braces and clear aligners, but he also has the expertise to treat patients with other orthodontic needs, such as congenital facial disabilities, such as cleft palate, defects in facial growth, and other developmental syndromes.

Cleft Palate Defined

A cleft of the palate occurs before birth when the palatal tissue does not fuse properly, leaving an opening at the roof of the mouth that connects to the inside of the nose. Similarly, a cleft lip occurs when the lip fails to fuse properly, causing the lip to appear “notched” or “split open.” The opening for a cleft lip or palate can appear on either the left, right, or both sides of the mouth and is sometimes hidden in the back of the palate. The adverse effects of a cleft palate include:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Increased risk of ear infection
  • Issues with hearing
  • Facial Asymmetry

What causes a cleft palette?

Research suggests that cleft palates theoretically form and are caused by a combination of genes and environmental factors.

The Treatment Process

Cleft palates can be corrected with a combination of surgery and specialized orthodontics to prevent the development of long-term issues. The treatments for patients with clefts and developmental syndromes have become very sophisticated. CT and 3D imaging allow us to get a clear picture of the treatment plan before we begin, significantly reducing the need for future surgery. We constantly monitor each patient’s growth and development during treatment and recovery to improve treatment outcomes.

These highly specialized treatments for cleft palates involve input from a team of doctors and dentists, including plastic surgeons, orthodontists, oral maxillofacial surgeons, speech pathologists, ear, nose, and throat specialists, and geneticists.

modern dental technology in San Antonio

Craniofacial and Cleft Palate treatment generally involves multiple phases of orthodontics that occur over many years, from birth to adulthood, with each phase paced with the growth and development of your child. Dr. Gonzalez will work closely with your reconstructive plastic surgeon to ensure the best outcome.

The patient will often require follow-up treatments or regular check-ins with a craniofacial specialist, such as Dr. Gonzalez, to guarantee positive progress and healing.

Alamo City Orthodontics Partners with the Methodist Hospital and Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Dr. Gonzalez has practiced with a group of specialists on the Methodist Hospital Cleft Palate team for almost 25 years. In addition, he is a member of the Cleft Craniofacial team at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio (CHOSA). He is the only orthodontist in San Antonio, TX with staff hospital privileges at Methodist Children’s and CHOSA. Given the skills and experience he has gained as a member of the board of the Cleft Palate Team, you can be assured that Dr. Gonzalez has the ability and resources to treat even the most complex facial and craniofacial disorders.