Alveolar bone grafting is an important part of the reconstructive journey for many cleft lip and palate patients. Patients between the ages of 6-9 are candidates for alveolar cleft repair. By age six, patients will have had their cleft lip and/or palate repaired surgically. Also, they should have been assessed (and treated) for any issues to do with hearing and speech.
Age six is an important milestone as we begin to see a mixture of permanent and primary teeth. If the cleft affects the bone in the gum where the teeth sit (known as the alveolus), a bone graft may be needed. The graft serves to fill the gap in the gum so that adult teeth can erupt properly.