Services We Provide
Children with clefts need more than just surgery. They may also need nutritional support, speech therapy, specialized orthodontics and dental work, hearing care, and psychosocial counseling.
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, speech therapy, specialized orthodontics and dentistry, ear and hearing care, and emotional support, all intended to ensure our patients' long-term, successful rehabilitation.
Medical Procedures and 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. Dental services are therefore vital to our patients' full rehabilitation.
Children with clefts may have visible scars or other differences that can lead to self-esteem issues. Counseling and support are thus an essential part of healing for patients and their families alike.
Children with clefts are at an increased risk of developing ear infections, as well as temporary hearing loss and long-term hearing loss if they do not receive treatment. Because hearing is such an essential part of a child's development, even short-term, temporary hearing loss can be detrimental to a child’s cognitive progress and speech skills.
Empowering Local Doctors
Smile Train provides important training and education opportunities to cleft surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, and related medical professionals around the world.
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, “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, flyers, 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. That's why we have special programs that give small stipends covering costs such as travel and lodging to ensure nothing stands between children with clefts and the care they need.