Cleft Palate / Craniofacial

cleftDr. Gonzalez specializes in craniofacial orthodontics. Not only does he treat patients with traditional orthodontic needs such as braces and Invisalign, but he also has the expertise to treat patients with facial birth defects, such as cleft palate, defects in facial growth and other developmental syndromes.

What Is A Cleft Palate?

A cleft of the palate occurs before birth when the palatal tissue does not fuse properly, leaving an opening at the roof of the mouth that connects to the inside of the nose. Similarly, a cleft lip occurs when the lip fails to fuse properly, causing the lip to appear “notched,” or “split open.” The opening for a cleft lip or palate can appear on either the left, right, or both sides of the mouth, and is sometimes hidden in the back of the palate. The negative effects of a cleft palate include:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Increased risk of ear infectio
  • Issues with hearing
  • Facial Asymmetry

Cleft palates can be corrected with a combination of surgery and specialized orthodontics to prevent the development of long term issues. The treatments available for patients with clefts and developmental syndromes have become very sophisticated. CT and 3D imaging allow us to get a clear picture of the treatment plan before we begin, greatly reducing the need for future surgery. We constantly monitor our patients growth and development during treatment and recovery to improve treatment outcomes.

What Is Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Treatment?

This type of highly specialized treatment involves input from a team of doctors and dentists including plastic surgeons, orthodontists, oral maxillofacial surgeons, speech pathologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, and geneticists.

Craniofacial and Cleft Palate treatment generally involves multiple phases of orthodontics that occur over many years, from birth to adulthood, with each phase paced with the growth and development of your child. Dr. Gonzalez will work closely with your reconstructive plastic surgeon to ensure the best outcome.

The patient will often require follow up treatments or regular check-ins with a craniofacial specialist, such as Dr. Gonzalez, to guarantee positive progress and healing over time.


Our Partnership With Methodist Hospital & Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Dr. Gonzalez has practiced with a group of specialists on the Methodist Hospital Cleft Palate team for almost 25 years. In addition, he is a member of the Cleft Craniofacial team at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio (CHOSA). He is the only orthodontist in San Antonio with staff hospital privileges at both Methodist Children’s and CHOSA. Given the skills and experience he has gained as a member of the board of the Cleft Palate Team, you can be assured that Dr. Gonzalez has the ability and resources to treat even the most complex facial and craniofacial disorders.

Contact Your San Antonio Family Orthodontist!

If you have any questions about cleft palate and craniofacial treatment, contact us and a member of our staff will be happy to help you. Dr. Gonzalez and our team have been working with families in San Antonio for over two decades, and we look forward to providing you with the professional care you and your family deserve. To schedule an appointment, reach out to us by phone or by filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you in our office soon.