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Cleft Lip and Palate Team (CLP)

The Cleft Lip and Palate Team (CLP) sees children born with cleft lip and palate/craniofacial disorders from birth to young adulthood. The team provides interdisciplinary coordination and management along with a dental program.

The Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program

One in every 700 infants in Ontario is born with a cleft of the lip and/or palate or other craniofacial difference. These conditions can be corrected through surgery, specialized dental treatment and speech therapy. To assist families of children and young adults who must cope with the expense of specialized dental treatment, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides funding for The Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program, managed by the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health. This program provides financial assistance for the specialized dental needs of affected individuals. Learn more about the Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program.

Children and youth will be seen for an eligibility assessment by our dental director,  orthodontist, oral surgeon and prosthodontist.  You will receive a report in the mail that indicates whether you are eligible for the funding.  

This program is for funding only.  We do not arrange dental care under sedation.  Please consider referring the child to a pediatric dentist in their area who has OR privileges at a local hospital. The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario can help you find a pediatric dentist. . We also do not diagnose children with suspected of having a craniofacial syndromes.  Please consider making a referral to genetics at McMaster Children’s Hospital if a craniofacial syndrome is suspected.  

The Velopharyngeal Inadequacy (VPI) Clinic

This is an additional clinic for children with resonance problems. This problem refers to the nasal tone of their speech. The VPI Clinic involves a speech and resonance assessment and may include specialized videofluoroscopy and nasendoscopy testing.

Care We Provide

Children with cleft lip and palate have needs that change as they grow and develop. The services of the team start at birth and are available until your child is a young adult. The team sees your child on a regular basis and tries to anticipate his or her needs so that possible problems can be dealt with early or even prevented.

The cleft lip and palate program is divided into 3 age ranges:

Birth to 2 Years

Individual appointments as needed:

  • Birth visit
  • Pediatrician: 1st month & 10-12 months
  • Plastic Surgeon: varies with needs
  • Audiology: 4 months
  • Speech: 10-12 months
  • Ear Nose and Throat Specialist
  • Pediatric Dentist: ~12 months

2 to 6 Years

  • Attend 2-6 Clinic. See Pediatrics, Audiology & Speech all in one afternoon. Summary report to parents.
  • Additional appointments with team members as needed
  • Speech therapy
  • Ear Clinic with Audiology and ENT
  • Psychology & Occupational Therapy referrals as needed
  • VPI clinic booked as needed

7 to young adulthood

  • Attend 7 Plus Clinic
  • AM – Speech & Pediatrics
  • PM – Plastics, Orthodontics Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Prosthodontics, ENT
  • Individual appointments and treatment arranged as needed
  • Dental funding is coordinated
  • Genetics referral available at any time

Team Members

During your child’s treatment, you may see the following team members:

  • Audiologist
  • Business Clerk
  • Coordinator
  • Developmental Pediatrician
  • Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist
  • Oral Surgeon
  • Orthodontist
  • Parent
  • Pediatric Dentist
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Social Worker
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Prosthodontist

Referrals as needed to:

  • Psychoeducational Testing
  • Genetics
  • Occupational Therapy