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Fox 4: Procedure diminishes lasting effects for children born with cleft palates and lips


Christy Dreiling was overjoyed to learn that she and her husband would be welcoming a baby girl into their lives. Little Quinn would be Christy's first child, but when she found out Quinn would have a cleft lip and palate, joy turned to concern.

"As a mom, this is where I get emotional because it`s hard enough in this world, being a girl," she told FOX 4's Abby Eden.

But hope came in the form of learning about a procedure called nasoalveolar molding - or NAM. An orthodontist makes a plate that's inserted into the baby's mouth, he or she wears it all day, and each week it's updated to continue changing the baby's mouth and face while the baby's cartilage is still malleable.

"It helps decrease the chance to have revisions in the future," Dr. Heather Hendricks of Children's Mercy explained.

Dr. Hendricks is a cleft and craniofacial orthodontist who specializes in NAM.

"The most important thing of NAM is the result of the nose; I'm able to mold and lift the nasal tip, the nasal cartilage in a way that it`ll be a long term result. We`re able to fabricate a nasal stint that goes inside of the nose, and it changes the shape of the cartilage, and it's long lasting," she said.


See the full story via Fox 4.

Learn more about the cleft palate/lip and craniofacial team at Children' Mercy.