You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: What is a Periostoplasty?
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What is a periostoplasty?
Joanne from Wide Smiles gives the Short answer:
Fixing the cleft in the gum.
Dr. Kirt Simmons, Wide Smiles Consultant gives The Long answer:
To be a little more specific- (without trying to be TOO technical)- it is an operation, usually done at an early age (but not necessarily), where the surgeon peels the gum AND the tissue (very thin) that actually covers the bone (called the "periosteum") away on both sides of the cleft and attaches the periosteum of the two sides together (i.e. "periosteum"-"plasty", a "plasty" is a general term to describe a surgery where something is modified, like "rhinoplasty"= "nose job") and the gum together over that. NO BONE is introduced into the "space", the intent of the operation is to ALLOW the body to fill in the space with bone since the "soft" tissues between the bones is no longer between them and there is now continuity of the sack around the bones. If you'll allow me the analogy- sort of like peeling back the wrapper at one end of two candy bars and sewing the wrappers together, leaving the candy bars touching each other. You have created a situation where, under the proper circumstances, (like heat maybe and/or pressure with the candy bars) they could fuse (melt) together and hopefully become one big candy bar.
Kirt Simmons DDS PhD - email@example.com
Wide Smiles Orthodontic Consultant