Hello! New to the group - dental question

Sweetsu323 - posted on 01/21/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am thrilled to see a group like this on facebook! My youngest daughter was born with a bilateral cleft. She just turned five in November and will go to her next craniofacial appointment in February. I was wondering at what age the doctors will start to address the dental issues. Is there anyone who has reached that point yet with their child?

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User - posted on 03/23/2009

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Does anyone know of a good orthodontist in the Edgemont, South Dakota area?  We moved here in October 2008 and now have to start over as out other ortho that I loved in now 7 hours away.  We are close to Hot Springs, SD and about 70 miles from Rapid City, SD, about and hour from Chadron, Ne.  Help if you can.

Lisa - posted on 03/23/2009

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Oh also we took the name of a orthodontist that the cleft palate team at the hospital gave because I wanted someone that was familiar with kids with clefts..

Lisa - posted on 03/23/2009

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My daughter is now age 15 she was born with a very large cleft palate short of going thru to the lip.  After seeing the cleft palate teams at the childrens hospital every year her regular dentist just treated her regular.  She started seeing the orthodontist when she was in 6th grade, her teeth were pretty messed up. had one growing in the center of her mouth actually.  She had to have several teeth pulled going into having braces put on and on this day at age 15 her teeth are beautifu.

User - posted on 03/22/2009

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Our soon to be 13 year old son has a cleft lip, which he had surgery on at about 6 months.  He was being evaluated for orthodontics to move his front teeth over about 4mm, but we moved to a different state in October and since then we have lost our medically handicap childrens services.  So we are in limbo as to where to go and what to do next as we no longer have the clinics for suggestions.

Sweetsu323 - posted on 03/21/2009

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Thank you Marsha! We just had Mary's annual review at the cranio facial clinic last month. They said they would start orthodontic procedures once she gets some permanent teeth which may happen in the next year or so. Your smile looks fantastic! I appreciate the tip about her having dentists familiar with cleft situations. Her current pediatric dentist has been wonderful with her basic cleaning care. It looks like she will have a break from surgeries for a while now. :-)

Marsha - posted on 03/21/2009

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Just thought I'd add a note here -- as a child I began dental work under 1yo. Initially, I had a plate that covered my hard palette. Later, I was fitted with an prosthetic plate and six teeth. My surgeon and orthodontist were grown up friends, so none of this was a big deal to me. Visiting doctors and having surgeries was so 'matter of fact' that I grew up not thinking twice about it. Though I do remember a time that I shared my 'teeth' at a school 'show and tell' :)) Over the years people have complemented me on my smile and my family has always just accepted me for who I am. This all added to my growing up confident and 'normal'. My plate has been replaced a few times, both because of growing and the wearing down of the plate after many years. As an adult I have gone to some dentists who are not experienced with Cleft surgeries with varied results, so I do recommend using dentists with this specialty as one grows up. I'd be happy to answer any questions:) Don't be hesitant to ask your surgeon and other doctors what to expect and when your daughter will be seeing orthodontists or speech therapists. All the best!

Elizabeth - posted on 02/26/2009

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well my daughter is 9 almost 10  and we are stili going through the whole dental process.  I started when she was about 6 1/2  to 7 yrs old.  They are looking at braces right now.   She has had most of her teeth removed and still going to have more taken out it is a never ending proess but things will get better the doctors say that she should be fine by the time she is about 18yrs old.  So kieep your head up

Ashley - posted on 01/25/2009

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Just keep your appt. and she will be fine. I go to a great hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana and we have had a dentist since my daughter was a week old. The way they explained it was mainly the teeth must come in and then once all the teeth are there they can begin fixing them if need be. Just remember while this site is great every cleft palate and lip is different. No one is in the exact same treatment plan. The best thing to do is discuss your concerns with team at the specialist your daughter goes to. All you can do is make every appt and always ask any question you have. This is my first child as well and although we have been through a lot she's only 17 months! I'm highly satisfied with her Dr.s and my mother and I probably overload the docs with questions at every appt.

Marie - posted on 01/22/2009

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Drew has seen an orthodontist since birth.  He has assisted in the cleft corrention with appliances, etc to move the vleft and align it before surgery.  We just started actually addressing orthodontics, though.  He had 4 teeth pulled a year ago during his bone graft surgery.  This was to make room for the adult teeth since he has SERIOUS crowding issues.  No new teeth growing in yet, though.  He has seen a wonderful pediatric denist for the last 5 years.  I wish the one before we moved here was even half as good.  I feel we lost one of Drew's teeth due to his neglegence.  We have had no problems since seeing the new dentist. 



I would think you will start hearing talk about dental/ orthodontic stuff pretty soon.  Facial growth and change ortho work, so they often wait until kids are closer to 8 or 9 and the facial growth is at least slowing down.

Vida - posted on 01/22/2009

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I suppose you can say that my daughter's dental issues were addressed pretty much from the start.  She is now 6 1/2 years old, has undergone a total of 8 cleft-related surgeries so far, ranging from cleft lip/palate/nose repair/revisions, tubes, and dental work due to cleft-related issues. 



She had a "baby root canal" done at a very early age, plus an extraction -- there was a tooth growing in the palate area, which is a very common thing in a cleft-affected child. 



As far as the clefted gumline and the couple of missing teeth in the area, she will undergo the bone graft surgery at around age 8.
Dental visit is coming up for both my children, on 2/13.  Things have been going really well at dentist appointments, we've been lucky.  :)  I adore the kids' dentist, he's the head of the dental dept at Children's/Pittsburgh, and is, of course, a part of the cleft team for my daughter.



I believe that a consult with the orthodontist during a cleft team visit will happen within the next year or two, not really sure. 

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