SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Children born with clefts need more than just surgery. They may also need nutritional support, dental care, orthodontic treatment, and speech therapy.
TREATING THE WHOLE PATIENT
Smile Train is committed to treating the whole patient through programs that provide access to important comprehensive cleft care services.
Comprehensive cleft care includes essential treatments beyond cleft surgery, such as nutrition services, orthodontic and general dental care, speech therapy and emotional support, intended to ensure long-term, successful rehabilitation for Smile Train’s cleft patients.
MEDICAL PROCEDURES & THERAPY
In as little as 45 minutes, a skilled partner surgeon can perform a cleft surgery and change a child’s life forever.
Even after surgery, many children with clefts will need speech therapy to address language delay, articulation problems, and hypernasality.
Children born with clefts often have difficulties feeding because of their inability to create a closure to suckle. Mothers and caregivers often need support to learn how to feed and support the growth of their baby.
Dental and Orthodontics
Missing, small, extra, and crooked teeth are common in cleft patients even after surgery to repair their cleft. Dental services are vital for the full rehabilitation of cleft patients.
Children born with clefts may have visible scars and/or differences in speech that can lead them to feeling different and, in some cases, experience self-esteem issues. Counseling and support are essential throughout their development for the children and their families.
EMPOWERING LOCAL DOCTORS
Smile Train provides important training and education opportunities to cleft surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and related medical professionals around the world. Since 1999, we have provided tens of thousands of scholarships, surgical training resources, workshops, and symposiums.
Smile Train’s support has been used to fund equipment and supplies that are essential to safe, high-quality cleft surgery, including crucial safety equipment like pulse oximeters, sutures and cleft surgical instruments, operating rooms, and much more.
Smile Train has played a vital role in developing some of the most cutting-edge advances in cleft care, including our award-winning Virtual Surgery Simulator and our speech therapy app called “Speech Games & Practice.”
BUILDING & MAINTAINING A COMMUNITY
Educating the Public
Smile Train raises awareness about clefts through domestic and international public service announcements, involving our Cleft Community Advisory Council (CCAC) in decisions about communication strategies, and training and speaking engagements for staff, our Medical Advisory Board (MAB), and partners.
Finding those in Need
Smile Train launches patient outreach campaigns to reach patients even in the most remote of areas. These include radio advertisements and programs, fliers, local newspaper ads, collaborations with other organizations for patient referrals, SMS/text message alerts, and more.
For some patients, even if cleft surgery is provided 100%-free, the cost of getting to or from the hospital prevents them from accessing treatment. We have special programs that give small stipends to those in need to cover out of pocket costs such as travel and allow them to receive cleft treatment.