About the Craniofacial and Special Needs Orthodontics Clinic
The Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Oral Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the few centers in the country to offer a fully integrated craniofacial orthodontics clinic. Craniofacial orthodontics is the subspecialty of orthodontics focused on patients with congenital or acquired deformities within the face and jaw. The subspecialty also extends to patients with special needs.
Our orthodontic team has extensive experience treating patients with craniofacial differences and special needs, such as cleft lip and palate, hemifacial microsomia, craniosynostosis, cleidocranial dysostosis and ectodermal dysplasia, and our experts are integral members of the Hospital’s multidisciplinary Cleft Lip and Palate and Craniofacial Program teams.
Orthodontic treatment is individualized for each patient’s unique needs, and it can begin as early as the first week of life and continue in phases to adulthood. We work closely with your child’s surgeon and other members of her care team to provide the best coordinated care.
Services and treatments provided
- Nasoalveolar molding — A surgical preparation therapy that may be indicated for infants born with cleft lip and palate.
- Preparation for alveolar cleft repairs — Alveolar cleft repair often requires orthodontic preparation to bring the alveolar (gum) segments into good alignment and create space for permanent teeth to erupt.
- Orthodontic management of distraction osteogenesis — Orthodontic management during this surgical procedure ensures that the bone elongation is in the correct direction and that your child maintains a good bite during the process.
- Phase 1 orthodontics — Phase 1 orthodontics typically occurs between 6 and 9 years of age, when patients begin to lose their baby teeth.
- Phase 2 orthodontics — Phase 2 typically occurs during early adolescent or adolescent years.
- Orthognathic surgical planning and post-surgical management — Our orthodontic specialists work with your child’s surgeon to plan the surgical movements and prepare the teeth to fit together well after jaw surgery.
Your child’s follow-up care will vary depending on her condition and course of treatment.
Our team works closely with your other care providers to manage ongoing, coordinated care that will be best for your child’s individual needs.
Your child's appointment
Every member of our team is here to support you throughout your child’s treatment. In addition to your orthodontist and plastic surgeon, you will also work closely with our dental technicians, advanced practice nurses and nurse coordinators who will walk you through specifics related to your child’s care and teach you anything you need to know how to do at home.