A Craniofacial Team is a multidisciplinary group of medical professionals that aim to comprehensively treat patients born with craniofacial differences. This includes Cleft Lip and Palate, Craniosynostosis, and Apert Syndrome among other conditions. A patient born with a cleft can have a series of procedures including plastic surgery, bone grafting, speech therapy and orthodontic treatment. A team of qualified and experienced professionals can better manage, coordinate and treat the complex nature of these conditions. The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) has a series of standards for what qualifies as a Craniofacial Team. At a very minimum, each team must have a surgeon, speech-language pathologist and orthodontist. These three disciplines are really the foundation of every team. The surgeon may either be a plastic surgeon or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who specializes in craniofacial surgery. Despite only needing three core professionals, the team must have access to other specialists such as psychologists, social workers, audiologists, geneticists, pediatric dentists, pediatricians and otolaryngologists (ENTs). This means that the team might not have a psychologist with them in clinic, but they know of several in the community to recommend to patients. The frequency of team meetings and team rotation days depends on the volume of patients to treat and the resources at the hospital. For example, some teams may meet every Thursday for Craniofacial Clinic while others may meet just twice a month. Craniofacial Clinic may consist of patient appointments in the morning and team meetings in the afternoon. In these team meetings patient cases are reviewed so that treatment timelines can be coordinated between the different disciplines. For example, the orthodontist may review the bone grafting with the surgeon before the patient has braces. Moreover, team members may recommend referrals to other disciplines such as the psychologist or social worker. I hope this helps your understanding of a Craniofacial Team. Please check out the ACPA at the following link for more [...]
About Brenna HarringtonMy name is Brenna Harrington and I am from Westford, Massachusetts. I am a current third year dental student at the University of Pennsylvania and on a scholarship with the U.S. Air Force. I am an Event Coordinator for the Philly Phaces Penn Dental Chapter and have really enjoyed this role. I look forward to continuing to work with this wonderful organization and blogging my experiences!
Hi Everyone! My name is Brenna Harrington and I am a current 3rd year at Penn Dental. I am originally from just north of Boston and completed my undergraduate education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I’m excited to continue my involvement in this wonderful organization, and to be joining the Philly Phaces blog team! My passion for Cleft and Craniofacial Care is what sparked my interest in dentistry. I had the opportunity to shadow Craniofacial Teams at Boston Children’s Hospital as well as Case Western Reserve University Hospital. It was through the lens of these multidisciplinary teams that I learned about the extensive care children with skeletal abnormalities require. It was not until these experiences that I realized how critical and complex the dental care is for this community. I hope to one day work on a multidisciplinary team like this to treat children with craniofacial differences as well as intellectual and developmental disorders. I’m currently on a scholarship for dental school with the U.S. Air Force and look forward to working on different Air Force bases after graduation. Select bases have Craniofacial Teams and the opportunity for special patient care. In my free time I love to travel and cook new vegetarian recipes! I am excited to be blogging my journey to Craniofacial Care and I hope you enjoy! Brenna