Surgery in the pediatric surgical suite.

Pediatric Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons diagnose and treat problems related to the bone, skin and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw. N.C. Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in North Carolina to offer these specialized services for kids from birth through young adult.

Pediatric Craniofacial Experts

You can trust that UNC Children’s craniofacial surgical specialists have the experience and expertise to provide the best total outcome for your child. That’s because we understand both the physical and psychological concerns related to growing up with a craniofacial condition.

What We Treat

Oral & Maxillofacial Conditions We Treat

Find treatment for a wide range of conditions related to the head, face, and mouth, including:

  • Cleft lip – Opening in the upper lip caused by tissue not joining completely before birth
  • Cleft palate – Opening in the roof of the mouth caused by tissue not joining completely before birth
  • Craniosynostosis – Abnormally shaped head caused by premature closure of the joints in a baby’s skull
  • Hypernasality (velopharyngeal insufficiency) – Too much air escapes through the nose while speaking because tissues in the mouth and throat don’t close properly
  • Impacted teeth – Teeth that don’t fully break through the gum
  • Jaw fractures
  • Jaw tumors and cysts
  • Malocclusion – Misaligned teeth
    • Overbite – Upper jaw and teeth severely overlap the bottom jaw and teeth
    • Underbite – Lower jaw protrudes forward
  • Positional plagiocephaly – Flattened area of the head due to repeated pressure on one spot
  • Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) – Unusually short, thick tissue under the tongue that restricts range of motion
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders – Problems with the joint that connects the jaw to the side of the head
  • Congenital and acquired craniofacial anomalies
    • Apert syndrome
    • Carpenter syndrome
    • Crouzon syndrome
    • Goldenhar syndrome
    • Hemifacial microsomia
    • Nager syndrome
    • Muenke syndrome
    • Parry-Romberg syndrome
    • Pfieffer syndrome
    • Pierre Robin sequence
    • Saethre-Chotzen syndrome
    • Trecher-Collins syndrome
    • Velocardiofacial syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome


Services & Treatments We Offer

UNC Children’s offers a wide range of services to improve speech correction, correct jaw placement, address feeding concerns, and improve facial appearance and function. Take advantage of innovative surgical therapies, devices and techniques, including:

  • Bone graft surgery – Recreates bone and tissue to support dental implants or treat bone loss
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair – Close a separation in the lip and/or roof of the mouth
  • Corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery – Realigns the jaws and teeth to improve chewing, speaking, and breathing • Craniosynotosis repair – Surgery to correct craniosynotosis
  • Frenulectomy (tongue-tie surgery) – Removes tissue that restricts tongue movement
  • Helmet therapy – Corrects the shape of the skull with a special, custom-fitted helmet
  • Rhinoplasty – Surgery to repair or reshape the nose
  • Speech surgery – Reduces air leakage from the nose to correct hypernasality • Surgical treatment and management of TMJ problems
  • Surgical treatment and repair of facial injuries, including jaw fractures
  • Surgical removal of facial and jaw tumors or cysts
  • Tooth extraction surgery – Removes damaged teeth, wisdom teeth, impacted teeth, or implants

Advanced Surgical Planning Technology

Your child may benefit from three-dimensional (3-D) imaging technologies that help doctors diagnose and precisely plan treatments. Take advantage of advanced medical imaging technology to plan for surgery, including:

  • Stereolithic modeling
  • Virtual treatment planning for jaw surgery


Coordinated Craniofacial Care for Children

UNC Children’s emphasizes a team approach to care. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons work closely with specialists from other disciplines to provide the best experience for your family—and the best possible outcome for your child. Your care team may include, among others:

Our highly-trained pediatric nurse practitioner serves as your go-to guide who gets to know your family, helps you schedule appointments, answers questions, and connects you with any additional resources and services you need.

We also work closely with your child’s primary care physician and dentist or orthodontist.

Outpatient Care in Chapel Hill

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons see patients in two locations on the UNC medical campus in Chapel Hill:

Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a physician’s referral for UNC Children’s pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery services. For more information, talk to your doctor, or call us at 919-537-3404.

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