Orthodontic care is about ensuring good health, quality of life, and personal confidence. Limiting circumstances that require special care, like cleft palate or financial hardship, can add stress and uncertainty to families that already deal with inordinate difficulty. Dr. Greg Oppenhuizen recently shared in an interview about his heart for patients that come to Oppenhuizen Orthodontics with special needs, and how he has partnered with multiple organizations to help families in their time of need.
Cleft Palate Orthodontic Care
Cleft palate is the fourth most common birth defect in the United States, and while the severity of this condition can vary, it often places a large burden of care on parents and patients. Speech therapy, oral surgery, and orthodontic treatment can all help treat the symptoms of cleft palate, reducing the effects of the condition over time. Because cleft palate can significantly alter the shape of the mouth and lip (if the lip is also cleft), there are some common issues that arise if no treatment is provided, including:
- Difficulty eating
- Hearing reduction or loss, and ear infections
- Speech impediments
- Oral health challenges
Additionally, orthodontic treatments to help manage the problems associated with cleft palate may be more frequent and extensive than those prescribed for typical patients. A study commissioned to determine the scope of orthodontic care for patients with cleft palate found that, on average, the duration of treatment for patients with cleft palate was 3.4 years and required 44 visits.
Economically Disadvantaged Patients
The opportunity to have a beautiful and functional smile should be within reach for all, not just those who can afford care. However, orthodontic treatment can be prohibitively expensive for some patients, keeping them from pursuing options that would dramatically increase their quality of life.
Financial difficulties and an inability to pay for care can happen to almost any family; especially during a time when many are experiencing job loss or unexpected disruptions to their income. Over the years, Oppenhuizen Orthodontics has proudly provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of orthodontic treatment for patients with financial struggles.
To help provide care for underserved or special needs patients, Oppenhuizen Orthodontics partners with several leading organizations dedicated to these causes.
Associations We Support
American Association of Orthodontists – Donated Orthodontics Services
We have partnered with the American Association of Orthodontists – Donated Orthodontics Services program to help support their mission of providing orthodontic care to children whose families have qualifying financial needs. The volunteer members of the Donated Orthodontics Services community provided more than 5 million dollars of treatment for patients since 2009.
Smiles Change Lives
Formally established in 1997, Smiles Changes Lives comprises over 750 orthodontists across the United States that have delivered confident new smiles to thousands of children throughout the years.
Orthodontic Care Can Be Within Reach
If your family or a loved one has special needs, including any of the scenarios mentioned in this article, consider reaching out to one of the associations highlighted above or contacting Oppenhuizen Orthodontics directly. Caring for your health and smile doesn’t need to be out of reach, and we’re more than happy to explain our process and walk through all of your available options