Cleft Lip & Palate

The diagnosis of a cleft either prenatally or at the time of birth causes a swirl of emotions and uncertainty around a joyful event. Our message is that there is a wonderful team of professionals here in Colorado Springs dedicated to the care of your child. Although each child presents a unique set of problems, there are standards of care in place to guide our roles and care in a logical manner. Each of our doctors and staff bring with them a wealth of knowledge in cleft treatment and a deep passion for this mission permeates the team.

Dr. Bentele is the orthodontist for the Cleft Lip and Palate Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado – Briargate Campus. He is a member of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, (ACPA). The Association's directive is that, “Teams are comprised of experienced and qualified professionals from medical, surgical, dental, and allied health disciplines working in an interdisciplinary and coordinated system. The purpose and goal of Teams are to ensure that care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical, and psychological needs.” Dr. Bentele was trained at The Ohio State University and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders and was formerly on a Cleft Palate Team at RAF Lakenheath in England.

The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association has established Standards of Approval for Team Care that incorporates: Team Composition; Team Management and Responsibilities; ACPCAPatient and Family/Caregiver Communication; Cultural Competence; Psychological and Social Services Outcomes Assessment. Our team is one of only 4 in the State of Colorado and we treat patients from all over the southern part of the State. Dr. Bentele also frequently works with the ENT surgeons from the Children’s Hospital in Aurora. ACPA Approved Teams

In collaboration with the other team members, the orthodontist’s roles include:

  • Education of the caregivers from the first prenatal visit
  • Diagnosis of the cleft and craniofacial differences
  • Evaluation of facial skeletal development
  • Evaluation of dental development to include: malformed teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth and eruption difficulties
  • Timing of alveolar bone graft surgery dependent on canine root development and proximity to the cleft defect (age 7-10)
  • Orthopedic development of the maxillary bone size and shape prior to the alveolar bone graft surgery. The surgery is accomplished by ENT or plastic surgeons on the Aurora team and by oral-maxillofacial surgeons on the Colorado Springs team.
  • Post-alveolar bone graft tooth alignment
  • Orthopedic repositioning of a retrusive maxilla in an anterior direction with either intraoral elastics to orthodontic appliances, facemask traction or intraoral elastics to skeletal anchors
  • Phase 2 orthodontic treatment when the permanent teeth have erupted around age 12
  • Orthodontic setup for orthognathic surgery to definitively position the facial skeletal structure at the end of growth if needed in severe cases.

The team usually meets the first Thursday of each month and follow up visits are coordinated depending on the patient’s needs. The cleft palate team’s functions are to make sure that your child’s cleft treatment is staged at the appropriate times, provide an overall review of your child’s health from different perspectives and provide a forum for all team members to collaborate on their care with referrals as needed. In one location the patient and your family will have access to: Speech Pathology, Audiology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Craniofacial Plastic Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric Dentistry, Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition and Orthodontics. Clinical care is usually accomplished in individual providers’ offices or in the hospital setting as needed. For further information please contact us at (719) 268-7138 or the Pediatric Otolaryngology Department at (719) 305-9558.

Educational Resources: Caring for a Child with a Cleft

cleft lip & palate team

Montebello Drive West
2575 Montebello Drive West,
Suite 101, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Tel: (719) 268-7138
Fax: (719) 599-5107
Woodland Park
791 W Kelley's Rd,
Woodland Park, CO 80863
Tel: (719) 687-6129
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Bentele Orthodontics
What our patients say...

We went to an evaluation at an orthodontist before this one and the price seemed kind of high so then I came to an evaluation here & not only was the price lower but immediately we felt very comfortable and loved the atmosphere of the office. The staff is wonderful, always on time & Dr. Bentele is a great Dr. - very knowledgeable, friendly & with excellent communication. I would recommend this practice to everyone!

We highly recommend Dr. Bentele and his practice. He is honest, friendly, skilled & timely - you name it. He and his staff are wonderful! Angela at the front desk is especially kind and helpful. Best of all - Dr. Bentele creates a wonderful outcome of beautiful teeth. I've experienced two other orthodontists with other children and Dr. Bentele definitely outshines all - in every way - even in cost! I can't speak highly enough about Bentele Orthodontics!

This office is extremely thorough in explaining all aspects of orthodontics from finances to procedures. I'm very confident in this office.

Dr. Bentele makes the patient feel comfortable with his skill and calm confidence. He's honest about the treatment needed and tries to keep the patient informed of the treatment.

Dr. Bentele is our orthodontist for our two children. He provided clear treatment plans with a practical approach. Dr. Bentele does all of the banding and bonding himself and the office appointments are appropriately scheduled. Our children get in and out quickly and the office is never overscheduled, resulting in short waits and unhurried treatment. We're very satisfied and would recommend our friends to see Dr. Bentele!

Dr. Bentele and all staff have been very professional and the cost was reasonable. The approach of not having braces on longer than necessary is one area where I have seen other children suffer (children who went to other orthodontists). The way Dr. Bentele explains what he is doing and why has been good for my daughter to learn the importance of her treatment. I appreciate Dr. Bentele's patience with us as we experienced a difficult financial time during the beginning of our process.