This patient is a cleft lip and palate patient who was treated by Beyond Faces after previous treatment failed elsewhere. As is the situation with most cleft patients, she was born with a gap in the upper jaw that involved both missing bone and gum tissue. Also typical of the cleft patient, she was missing an upper tooth.
Several years prior to our meeting this patient, she had three surgeries to repair her cleft. Traditional techniques were tried during these previous attempts. On two occasions, bone was transferred from her skull to fill the bone gap of her upper jaw. This was unsuccessful. A third attempt at repairing the cleft, this time with tongue tissue, also did not provide a satisfactory result.
This patient was not looking forward to more surgery. Beyond Faces proposed using two new technologies, distraction osteogenesis and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), to treat the disorder. The treatment was intended to (1) grow living bone across the cleft, (2) close the hole from the mouth into the nose, (3) treat the missing tooth by moving a natural tooth into the space, and (4) to correct the asymmetry of her bite and smile.
Having the prior experience of three failed surgeries, she took some time to decide whether to undergo a treatment with new technology. In the end, she opted to try again. Her surgery involved (1) distraction osteogenesis to shift bone into the correct position, (2) distraction osteogenesis to increase the amount of gum tissue, (3) placement of BMP to stimulate the body to grow living bone across the cleft, and (4) movement of a natural tooth into the site of the missing tooth. All of the objectives were met in a single surgery.