:) I guess I'm a risk taker that way.
Anyway....I've been working on this post for 3 days but have had so many interruptions. I guess that is what I signed up for when I decided to have seven kids.
I told you we had an appointment with the pediatric dentist/oral surgeon on Monday. It went a little different than I expected.
Zoya turned out to be quite the celebrity in the dental office. Apparently none of the staff, not even either of the dentists, had ever seen an unrepaired cleft palate on a child this old. Zoya ended up showing every tech, receptionist, hygienist, and dentist the roof of her mouth, and several photos and notes were taken. Who knew an open cleft was such a novelty? I didn't.
Everybody was fascinated.
The dentist was so happy. Zoya proved his theory about cleft repair and how if done later, it benefits the craniofacial development.
He feels that, from a craniofacial point of view anyway, it is better to leave the cleft open in childhood so that the jaw and the bones can develop properly. He said that when the cleft is repaired during infancy, which it is 99.99% of the time, the upper jaw cannot grow and therefore the upper jaw stays smaller than the lower jaw. I couldn't picture this at all and they couldn't provide photos to 'prove' it. But everybody who saw it agreed that her teeth and jaws looked beautiful and "normal" for a child who had not had cleft surgery.
Now he told me to google pictures to see what he was talking about, and honestly I couldn't find any. So if anybody knows what he means and has pictures to prove it, I would love to see it for myself. He is recommending waiting a few more years to do the surgery. He feels that a prosthetic palate (I just made this name up, I really don't know what I'm talking about) would help her be able to learn to eat better and talk, and then once she is fully developed, say, as a teenager, we could have it repaired.
Now, this is just the dentist's opinion. We have not consulted with the speech therapist or the surgeon. Something tells me they would have a different opinion. From what I understand, she would benefit socially and speech wise by repairing it ASAP, but she would benefit appearance wise (normal facial bone development) by waiting. I guess we have to decide which we feel would be more important to her. Like I said I have never actually seen a person with a cleft palate repair to know any different.
I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions about this. Like I said, this was not what I was expecting to hear, especially after so many commenters suggested repairing the cleft ASAP.
Zoya is very proud of her beautiful smile and her cleft. She doesn't hesitate to show it to anybody. So, if you are interested, here are some photos of her beautiful smile.
I never noticed the scar on her chin until I looked closely at this photo. Or is that chocolate?
See how her upper and lower teeth align perfectly? According to the dentist if she had gotten the cleft repair early, the upper jaw would be much narrower and she would have a significant underbite.
How I love this girl. Isn't she beautiful?