Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft lip and palate are the most common oro-facial birth defects that develop during first 6-10 weeks of pregnancy. These defects can result in feeding, speech, hearing problems and frequent ear infections. Cleft lip and cleft palate (cleft in the roof of the mouth) can be surgically repaired by a team of surgeons for a successful outcome.

Cleft lip: It is a split or separation that appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of upper lip. It may or may not involve the nose and could be on one or both sides of the upper lip. A few cases of cleft lip can occasionally be detected by an ultrasound during pregnancy.

Cleft Palate: It is a split or a separation in the roof of mouth due to lack of union between the bones of the two halves of the palate. Most cases of cleft palate are associated with cleft lip. Cleft palate is difficult to detect on an ultrasound since it is noticed only when the mouth is open.

Signs of Clefts

  • Feeding problems: The palate separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity and prevents fluids and foods from entering the nose. In babies with cleft palate, the fluids and food enter the nasal cavity and regurgitate through the nose. These infants swallow air while feeding and cannot breathe during feeding. They may not be able to breastfeed or feed through bottle, due to the lack of seal that separates the nose and the mouth.
  • Ear Infections: Children with cleft palate may develop infection in ears due to fluid accumulation in the middle ear. If left untreated, it may result in hearing loss.
  • Speech problems: Children with cleft palate have pronounced speech problems compared to children with cleft lip. Their voice sounds hyper-nasal (sounds like child talking through nose) and unclear if left untreated.
  • Dental problems: These include small, missing, extra or misaligned teeth and increased number of cavities. Gums and bone defects also occur and need multiple surgical procedures to repair them.


Cleft lip and palate are repaired surgically by a team of specialists under general anaesthesia for a successful outcome, in terms of function and aesthetics. Pre-surgical naso-alveolar moulding help to improve long-term nasal symmetry compared to surgery alone.

Obturators are given as a temporary measure to enable better feeding, when the cleft is not completely repaired, or in between the multiple surgeries. An obturator is a prosthesis that covers the defect in the palate and blocks the palatal slit when placed in the infant’s mouth. Obturators aid feeding and help bring clarity in speech by reducing the hyper nasal voice.

Cleft lip repair: Usually cleft lip is repaired within the first 2-3 months after birth. The repair requires one or two surgeries based on the extent of the cleft.

Cleft palate repair: Cleft palate surgery is performed between the ages of 6-12 months to close the cleft in the palate. The first surgery aims at proper development of teeth, facial bones and reducing the fluid development in the middle ears. This surgery involves a short hospital stay for recovery.

Multiple surgeries are performed to improve speech, stability of permanent teeth, facial aesthetics and function, as the child grows older.

Dental and orthodontic treatments are begun at the age of 6 years, by a team of dental specialists comprising of general dentist, pedodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an orthodontist. The combined efforts of the specialists’ team ensures normal growth and development of child.

Speech problems that remain unresolved after surgery, are closely monitored by speech pathologists and speech therapies help the child communicate better throughout their childhood.

How Much Does A Cleft Lip And Palate Surgery Cost?

Cleft lip and Cleft palate repair is done in several stages during childhood, to ensure better chewing, clarity in speech and facial aesthetics. The cost of cleft lip and palate surgery depend on the extent of separation, requirement of graft, type of surgical approach, expertise and experience of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A consultation with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, can help you understand the complexity of the child’s problem and get an approximate cost.

Why Dinesh’s Dental Paradise?

Dr Dinesh K Sharma, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and his team of specialists at Dinesh’s Dental Paradise carefully outline the treatment plan based on the severity of the cleft. He has performed hundreds of these surgeries successfully and has helped transform the life of many children.

With an experience of over 25 years and skilled hands in treating some of the most complex jaw and facial conditions, Dr Dinesh is acknowledged by patients and dentists as one of the best oral surgeons in Hyderabad. Dr Dinesh is the most preferred oral & maxillofacial surgeon for cleft lip and palate surgery in Hyderabad.

The advancements combined with global standards of sterilization and quality treatment makes Dinesh’s Dental Paradise, the preferred dental hospital for cleft lip, cleft palate and other complex oral and maxillofacial surgeries.

Need an Appointment for Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Surgery?

Looking for a reputed dental hospital or an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, to treat cleft lip or cleft palate? Contact Dinesh’s Dental Paradise. Call us at 040 – 4240 8711 / 76750 42342 or email us at