(928) 641-4000
919 12th Place Suite 7 Prescott, AZ 86305

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair in Prescott

The cleft lip and palate are part of the upper lip and the roof of the mouth. This condition is very common, but if left untreated it can lead to challenges in feeding, speech, hearing, and dental development. The repair is a surgical procedure that is done to correct the function and the appearance. If you have any questions about the cleft lip and palate, give our office a call at (928) 641-4000.

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Understanding the Conditions

  1. Cleft Lip- A cleft lip is a gap or split in the upper lip. It can be small or go from the lip or go all the way to the nose. It can happen on one side or both sides of the lip. This condition can affect how the lip looks and can make it harder for the functionality of the mouth resulting in making it harder to eat, talk, breathe, and more.
  2. Cleft Palate- A cleft palate is a gap or opening in the roof of the mouth. It can affect the soft palate at the back of the mouth, the hard part of the palate at the front, or both. This condition can make it harder for functionality and create problems with eating, speaking, and increase the risk of ear infections.

Surgical Procedures

  1. Cleft lip repair- This surgery is usually done when the child is about three to six months old. The surgery is done to close the gap in the lip, restore muscle function, and improve the appearance of the lip. Thai technique depends on how severe the cleft is and the child’s overall health.
  2. Cleft palate repair- This surgery is usually done when the child is about six to eighteen months old. The procedure involves closing the gap in the roof of the mouth, which helps with speech development and reduces the risk of fluid build-up in the ears. The procedure can be complex depending on the size of the gap.

Comprehensive Treatment Approach

  1. Multidisciplinary team- The team can involve many different specialists, including a pediatric dentist, a speech-language pathologist, an otolaryngologist for the ears, and a psychologist.
  2. Staged treatment plan- The treatment plan can include many different types of surgeries. For example, the treatment plan may require the patient to get bone grafts which may be needed to fill gaps in the gum line, and more surgeries might be needed as the patient grows to improve the appearance and functionality of the lip and palate.

Importance of Early Intervention

  1. Minimizing developmental delays- Getting the surgical procedure done early is important to make sure that the impact on speech, nutrition, and overall growth is not affected.
  2. Long-term follow-up- It is important to attend regular follow-up visits so the dentist can monitor the development and address any issues that may come up.

Common Myths

Myth: Cleft repair is purely cosmetic.
Fact: There are many benefits to getting the cleft repaired. The goal is to have a more functional jaw and mouth to improve eating, speaking, and hearing. Another benefit to getting the repair is also for cosmetic reasons.

Myth: Cleft repair is a one time procedure.
Fact: The repair can involve many different steps in the process over many years to make sure that the issues is resolved as the child grows.

Myth: Cleft conditions are always detected at birth.
Fact: In most cases, the condition is noticeable at birth. However, it is possible that it may not be noticeable right away and can be diagnosed later during a physical exam.

Repairing the cleft lip and palate is a procedure that can make the mouth more functional and aesthetic. If your child has been diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate, give our office a call to schedule a consultation at (928) 641-4000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that happen when a baby’s lip or mouth doesn’t form correctly during pregnancy. A cleft lip is a gap in the upper lip. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. Both can make it hard for a child to eat, speak, hear, and breathe properly.

Cleft lip and palate are fixed by procedures that are meant to close the gap or opening in the mouth or lip. Cleft lip repair is usually done in the first few months of life and requires a surgical procedure to make the lip look normal. Cleft palate repair is usually performed between 6 and 18 months of age and reconstructs the roof of the mouth to help the mouth grow, and function properly.

Yes. The procedure for cleft lip and palate is generally safe. They are a common procedure that is done with lots of success. However, every surgery has risks, but with the help of our oral surgeon, they are minimized by skill and experience.

After surgery, most patients will experience swelling, discomfort, and some pain that can be managed with medication. The recovery time for cleft lip is usually quicker compared to the cleft palate. It is also common that some patients may need speech therapy after the surgery.

The main goal of the procedure is to have minimal scarring and to look as normal as possible. It is possible that some signs of the cleft might still be visible, but the goal is to have the most natural look after surgery.

This will depend on the specific treatment plan. In some severe cases, multiple surgeries over a few years is common to make sure that the cleft procedure addresses all the concerns.

Yes. The cleft lip and palate can greatly affect the child’s speech and eating. In some cases, the child may require speech therapy and special feeding needs to help fix these issues. Getting the procedure done, will make sure to improve the function of the lip and palate.

Repairing the cleft lip is best done when the child is about 3-6 months old. The palate procedure is best done when the child is about 6-18 months. This will depend greatly on each patient’s case, so it’s best to consult the oral surgeon about your child’s specific needs.

Follow-ups may include a variety of different needs like medical, dental, and speech evaluations. Some children may need more surgeries as they grow older. The dental team will be sure to watch the growth and communicate any necessary changes if needed.

This will depend on what type of insurance provider and what plan you have. Our insurance team will do our best to help you understand your benefits. However, it’s best to check with your insurance provider for specific plan details and coverage.


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We are OPEN for ALL dental care procedures and emergency needs. Protecting the health and safety of our patients, families, and team members remains our number one priority.

In-house Discount Plan*

$119.95/yr/individual & $179.95/yr/family with discounts of 20%-30% off all services.

*Sign up in office, requires upfront payment to qualify for discounts.

$19.95 Exam and X-Rays^

For New Patients without insurance we offer a great rate on your first Exam & set of X-Rays.

^For New Patients that do not have dental insurance. New patients must be 18 or older to receive this discount. Discounts cannot be combined with other offers or dental discount plans. Additional fees may be included in individual cases.

$500 off Orthodontics^^

For New Patients without insurance we offer a great rate on your first Exam & set of X-Rays.

^^For new patients without dental insurance. Once per patient.

Horizon Dental of Prescott


M CLOSED | Tu 9-4 | Wed 8-4 | Th 8-4 | Fr CLOSED


919 12th Place Suite 7

Prescott, AZ 86305

(928) 641-4000


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