When the cleft palate is very wide, and the tongue interposes in the cleft, then we sometimes insert a resinous palatal plate (photo 4). This plate is tailor-made. You first need to take a print of the palate (photos 1 and 2). Then the plate is made from a plaster cast (photo 3).
The plate is put in place, adjusted once a month if necessary, until the surgery meant to close the palate (see palate surgery) between 4 and 6 months.
It facilitates bottle feeding, avoids lingual interposition in the cleft; it soothes the child. The parents clean it themselves several times a day. It is easy to handle.
Impression taking at the newborn
Plaster model and shutter of the cleft
Hard resin shutter plate
This plate is less and less used because early surgical techniques performed around the age of one or two months partially obstruct the hard bone palate. The plaque becomes troublesome and sometimes irritates the operated mucosa. Its usefulness is then weak.