One of the main goals of Operation Smile worldwide is to provide opportunities for local doctors, dentists, and therapists to acquire the specialised knowledge they need to assist children and adults born with cleft conditions in their communities.

Twenty delegates, mostly locally based dentists and dental technicians from Mpumalanga, recently attended an obturator training workshop at Rob Ferreira Hospital. Led by Dr. Marius van der Walt, a volunteer dentist with Operation Smile, the workshop aimed to emphasize the role of dentistry in the life of a cleft lip and palate patient from birth to old age.

Role of dental obturators

Ideally, children born with a cleft palate should undergo surgery to repair the opening as early as possible. However, an obturator can serve as a useful interim solution if there is a waiting period before surgery can be safely performed.

It is crucial to have the device adjusted regularly by the dentist as the upper jaw grows and permanent teeth replace baby teeth.

specialised dentistry


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