Publications

The Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/
Craniofacial Dental Program

One in every 700 infants in Ontario is born with a cleft of the lip and/or palate or other craniofacial anomaly. These conditions can be corrected through surgery, specialized dental treatment and speech therapy.

To assist families of children and young adults who must cope with the expense of treatment, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has established The Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/ Craniofacial Dental Program. This program provides financial assistance for the specialized dental needs of affected individuals.

Why is a multi-disciplinary approach used?

Individuals with a cleft lip and/or palate or craniofacial syndrome may be faced with significant dental concerns affecting the tooth and bone structure in addition to feeding difficulties, middle ear problems and speech and language issues.

Rehabilitation services for these conditions require the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team of medical, dental and other specialists. The complex nature of these conditions and the impact of growth and development on treatment outcomes may necessitate a number of rehabilitation services between birth and adulthood.

The team may include the following professionals :

  • Audiologist
  • Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • Orthodontist
  • Paediatric Dentist
  • Plastic Surgeon
  • Prosthodontist
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker
  • Speech and Language Pathologist


Who is eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding an individual must be:

  1. A resident of Ontario in possession of a valid OHIP number, and
  2. Diagnosed as having a cleft lip and/or palate, a craniofacial anomaly or other severe dental dysfunction, and
  3. Be registered in the program before their 18th birthday.

How does someone get assessed for eligibility?

To determine eligibility for financial assistance through the program, an individual must contact, or be referred to, one of the designated centres for a screening assessment.

An individual's eligibility for registration with the program is determined by the Dental Director and the assessment team at each designated centre.

Once an individual is registered with a designated centre, the multi-disciplinary team works with the patient and/or family to coordinate a treatment plan. The team will meet with the patient regularly to manage and assess the progress of treatment and make appropriate recommendations.

Patients must be seen by the multi-disciplinary team at designated intervals during their treatment so that progress can be monitored.

What does the program cover?

The Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program covers up to 75% of the pre-approved dental specialist treatment costs not covered by private dental insurance.

These costs may include:

  • Dental infant orthopaedics
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Some restorative dentistry
  • Dental prosthetics
  • Dental implants and oral surgery not funded by OHIP

The program will not cover the cost of regular dental check-ups, some procedures that are not deemed eligible and long-term follow-up care.

How does the program work?

  • Some procedures may need to be completed by a certified dental specialist in Ontario.
  • A treatment plan and fee estimate must be forwarded to, and approved by, the Dental Director of a designated centre prior to the initiation of any dental treatment.
  • Use of private dental insurance and coverage provided by The First Nation and Inuit Health Branch, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program or The Children in Need of Treatment Program must always precede any funding through the Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program.
  • The program will reimburse 75% of dental treatment costs remaining after private dental insurance.
  • If there is no private insurance in place, the program will reimburse 75% of the approved estimate.
  • A funding limit applies to treatment for clients registered with diagnoses other than Cleft Lip and Palate and/or Craniofacial syndromes.
  • All requests for reimbursement (e.g. orthodontic bills) must be sent to The Hospital for Sick Children, the designated provincial paymaster for the program.

Where are the designated centres?

HAMILTON

McMaster Children's Hospital (HHS)
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
905-521-2100, ext. 77210

KINGSTON

Hotel Dieu Hospital
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
613-544-3400 ext. 3624

LONDON

Thames Valley Children's Centre
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
519-685-8680

OTTAWA

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
613-737-7600, ext. 3009

TORONTO

The Hospital for Sick Children
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
416-813-5882

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
416-425-6220, ext. 3466
HBKRH also offers an annual assessment in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Timmins. Please call HBKRH for more information.

WINDSOR

John McGivney Children's Centre
Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program
519-252-7281

For More Information

For additional information about the Ontario Cleft Lip and Palate/Craniofacial Dental Program, please contact the designated centre in your area.

 

For Support :

There is a great deal of family can do to support a child with a cleft lip and/or palate or craniofacial syndrome. Further information is available from:

AboutFace
Toll Free: 1-800-665-3223
Toronto: 1-416-597-2229
www.aboutface.ca