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Multidisciplinary treatment craniofacial anomalies and its effects on children's oral cavity, psychology, and speech

By Lemma Munal Salem


There are many craniofacial anomalies that exist in the oral mucosa, gingiva, lips, tongue, maxilla, mandible, floor of the mouth, palate, and teeth. These anomalies cause secondary issues such as airway obstruction, respiratory problems, feeding problems, ear disease, distal systemic issues, and speech and communication problems. Children that experience craniofacial anomalies and subsequent problems are often at a disadvantage with medical and dental related consequences, and especially speech, communication, and often present with psychosocial concerns. This paper explores such anomalies, consequential problems, and emphasizes the importance of having a multidisciplinary team when treating patients with craniofacial anomalies. Multidisciplinary teams consist of otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, general dentists, prosthodontists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, pediatricians, neurologists, geneticists, social workers, psychologists, audiologists, and speech therapists. Based on past studies and data, multidisciplinary treatment has shown not only to provide the best options to correct an anomaly, but also to optimize the overall health and well-being of an individual as well. Multidisciplinary treatment of craniofacial anomalies outlines a coherent, inclusive, and revolutionized way on how to holistically treat a patient. This approach is present in the healthcare realm, but often underrated and not adopted by all healthcare professionals; this paper will demonstrate how such an approach will advance healthcare. Surgery removes, corrects, or improves a condition that exists in the oral cavity or oropharynx. Nevertheless, surgery often causes subsequent conditions and may even not be successful. Among the many disciplines exercised in treating patients with craniofacial anomalies and conditions, this paper highlights the importance of speech and language pathologists, psychologists, dentists, orthodontists, and geneticists to be included in the treatment plan. Studies demonstrated that each discipline’s responsibility, when implemented in a coordinated and timely fashion, can improve the outcomes, possibly prevent ensuing conditions, and therefore, optimize an individual’s health and quality of life

Topics: Dentistry, Craniofacial anomalies, Oral cancer, Psychology, Speech, Multidisciplinary treatment
Year: 2016
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