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Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - What it is

Some children born with a cleft lip and palate may have a gap in the gum. This gap is called an alveolar gap and may extend from near the teeth all the way up to the nose. During an ABG, a Plastic Surgeon will fill the alveolar cleft with spongy bone from the hip. The gum is carefully stitched over the bone graft to let it heal.

  • The alveolus is the bone under the gums that holds the teeth. The alveolus is made of alveolar bone.
  • Bone Graft is bone taken from one part of the body to another.

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Symptoms

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - How to prevent?

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Causes and Risk Factors

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Diagnosis

Why might an ABG be required?

One of the functions of the alveolus and gum is to hold teeth in the right place. If there is a gap in the alveolus, the teeth may grow in the wrong position which may be more difficult to treat when older.

The ABG will provide:

  • Bone support for teeth to develop and grow
  • Continuity and better appearance of the gum
  • Better support for the base of the nose
  • Closure of any fistulas (abnormal connections) between the mouth and nose

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Treatments

When will the ABG be done?

The best time for the ABG will be decided by a Plastic Surgeon and an Orthodontist (a Dentist who corrects the position of a person’s teeth and jaw).

  • When the adult canine is ¾ developed
  • Usually between nine and 14 years of age

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Preparing for surgery

For more information on the preparation for an ABG, what happens during an ABG, and what some side effects may be, download our ABG information booklet – Caring for my Alveolar Bone Graft.

Alveolar Bone Graft (ABG) for Children born with Cleft Lip and Palate - Post-surgery care

For more information on post-surgery care, download our ABG information booklet - Caring for my Alveolar Bone Graft.

These include:

  • Post-surgery precautions to note
  • How to keep wounds clean
  • Medication to be taken

Post-Surgery Diet

After the ABG, wounds in the mouth may make it difficult to eat. A balanced, soft diet is recommended for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery to minimise chewing and ensure adequate nutrition so the wound can heal well.

For more information on post-surgery diet, download our ABG information booklet - Caring for my Alveolar Bone Graft.

These include:

  • Soft diet guidelines
  • Soft diet food list categorised by food groups for nutritious, balanced soft diet meals
  • Sample meal plans
  • Tips for safe eating and drinking

The video below shows how to prepare a balanced, soft diet meal after an ABG.

 

You may also download Sample Recipes of dishes featured in the video.

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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