Cleft Palate / Craniofacial

Dr. Gonzalez practices in a highly specialized area of orthodontics referred to as craniofacial orthodontics. He is one of a select group of orthodontists that, in addition to practicing traditional orthodontics for treatments such as braces or Invisalign, has been trained 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. This leaves an opening at the roof of the mouth that connects to the inside of your nose. A cleft lip occurs, before birth, when the lip fails to fuse properly. The lip gives the appearance that it is “notched,” or “split open.” The opening for a cleft lip or palate can appear on either side of the face, or both, or even only in the back of palate. The negative effects of a cleft palate include: 

  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Increased risk of ear infection
  • Issues with hearing

Cleft palates can be corrected with surgery, preventing the development of long term issues. Treatment of patients with cleft and developmental syndromes has become very sophisticated. With CT and 3D imaging we are now able to perform orthodontic treatment in a more ideal setting, which can greatly reduce the need for future surgery. We constantly monitor our patients growth and development so that treatment is done so that it achieves the most benefit in the shortest amount of time. 

What Is Cleft Palate & Craniofacial Treatment?

This is an extremely specialized treatment that uses a team of doctors and dentists including plastic surgeons, orthodontists, oral maxillofacial surgeons, speech pathologists, ear, nose and throat specialists, and geneticists. 

Cleft lip and palate and other facial developmental syndromes are usually treated with multiple phases of orthodontics that occur over many years from birth to adulthood. Each phase is timed to the growth and development of your child. Dr. Gonzalez will work very 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 ensure that the any long term symptoms or negative effects from the repaired cleft palate are minimized. 

Our Unique 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 new Cleft Craniofacial team at CHOSA. He is the only orthodontist in San Antonio that has hospital privileges and is a member of the staff at the Methodist Hospital. By combining the skills and experience he has acquired 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 Local 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 provide you with information. Dr. Gonzalez and our team have been working with the families of San Antonio for over two decades, and we look forward to providing you with the professional orthodontic care that you and your  family deserve. To schedule an appointment, you can 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.