Most children who are born with cleft palate have primary surgical repairs at an early age.
Many cleft palate patients, however, will have significant bony defects in their anterior upper jaw areas which require treatment to allow for proper esthetics and dental rehabilitation.
The most common procedure utilized is a bone graft reconstruction of the anterior maxilla (upper jaw). The cleft site is usually repaired with bone grafting between the ages of 10 and 14 years. The surgery can be performed in the office or hospital, and a bone graft is usually needed to reconstruct the defect.
After healing, the reconstructed defect area can then be used for placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth, or to allow for attachment of dental prosthesis.