You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: Bilateral vs. Unilateral Cleft Palate


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What is the difference between a bilateral and a unilateral cleft palate?

(Answer by Dr. John Canady, WS medical/surgical consultant)

Bilateral is usually taken to mean that there is involvement on both sides of the midline, in this case, both sides have some clefting (sounds like complete on one side and incomplete on the other side of the lip). Bilateral cleft palate means that there is a cleft on both sides of the nasal septum, ie, the palatal shelves don't connect with the nasal septum on either side (in a unilateral, one side or the other connects with the vomerine septum and is generally fused with it. On a practical basis, bilateral cleft palates can be a little wider (though not always) or there can be not much difference in appearance.


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