3D imaging for surgical candidates with cleft lip and palate
Shriners Hospitals for Children-Boston is renowned for treating children who have burns. However, the hospital also provides the same level of expert care and treatment for children with cleft lip and/or palate—one of the most common birth defects in children.
Children with cleft lip or cleft palate receive treatment from Shriners-Boston experts who work together to improve the child’s appearance, ability to eat, communicate, and even breathe. Each patient’s unique treatment plan may include surgery, orthodontics and hearing, as well as speech and psychological therapies, to restore optimal function and appearance.
A cleft lip is usually repaired when the child is between the ages of three and six months, while surgery for cleft palate generally occurs when the child is between nine and 12 months old.
Shriners-Boston 3D imaging—a key to successful jaw surgery
For children with cases where bone grafting or jaw surgery is required, pre-surgery 3D imaging at Shriners-Boston improves the odds of a successful outcome. Surgeons literally perform a “virtual” surgery before bringing the child to the operating room. These 3D images are integrated with sophisticated software that allows the cleft lip and palate team to see the child’s face, and bone and tissue structures before and after the surgery.
Some of the things the cleft lip and palate team look at while planning the surgery include:
- Number and orientation of teeth.
- Dental and skeletal age.
- Amount and quality of bone in the cleft region.
- Incidence and number of missing teeth.
Depending on the severity of the case, the overall treatment plan may include surgery, speech therapy and dental/orthodontic treatment. Shriners-Boston cleft lip and palate teams include multiple specialists in surgery, dentistry, orthodontics and radiology who work closely together and with the family to produce the best possible outcome for the child.
Reconstructive surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate is always performed at Shriners-Boston regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
To learn more about 3D imaging, or other types of treatment at Shriners-Boston, we encourage you to reach out by calling us at 617-722-3000.
If you’d like to support the children who receive treatment at Shriners-Boston, please consider making a donation to the hospital.