Specialty services 


Dr. Meredith Harris specializes in helping children born with a cleft lip and palate by providing molding plates. These molding plates aid the patient by placing parts of the palate in good alignment before surgery. 

Nasoalveolar molding for the cleft lip and palate infant:

What is a NAM? A NAM is a presurgical treatment for infants born with a cleft lip and palate. Pioneered in the 1980's by Dr. Barry Grayson, Dr. Larry Brecht and Dr. Court Cutting of NYU's institute for reconstructive plastic surgery. This procedure helps to align the infants alveolar ridges (the bone and gums where the teeth will eventually be) as well as align the nose. By reducing the size of the cleft, there is less tension created at the surgery site this helps improve the surgical result. Most often, the benefits achieved with the NAM reduce the total number of surgeries the child needs over the course of their life.


A NAM Appliance

For families who elect to do this procedure, it is very time and labor intensive. The first surgery is not performed until after the completion of NAM treatment, which is typically a total of 12 weeks for unilateral clefts and 20 weeks for bilateral clefts though this varies with each child's individual needs. Weekly appointments and daily preparation of tapes and orthodontic elastics keep parents busy. However, in the end the beautiful smiles we see on our babies make it worth all the effort. 

In the photo below you will see Dr. Meredith Harris and Jessica Nunez working together to apply a NAM on Elana Hernandez. 

Elana Hernandez is 2 months old in these photos. She is so strong and beautiful.

It is important that the NAM stays in place and so we use Mastisol (liquid skin adhesive), Duoderm (extra thin), orthodontic elastics and Steri Strips to help keep the appliance on our patients face in order to keep it from moving. 

Below you will see our amazing assistant Jessica Nunez tape the appliance to Elana's face. This helps to keep the appliance in place. 

This appliance also helps our patients eat a lot more comfortably. 

Below you will see beautiful Elana eating. 

 This procedure is very time and labor intensive but absolutely worth it for your little one. 

Below is Elana along with her mom Amber. 


Leela and Brit Monson

Brit on the right had NAM treatment with us back in 2016 when he was just an infant. He has been a patient of ours since then and we cannot get over how cute him and his sister Leela are! 

Rubyann Hernandez 

Rubyann had NAM treatment with us back in 2010 and has been our patient since. Look at that beautiful smile! Rubyann is beautiful. 

Elana Hernandez 

Our youngest cleft palate patient at the moment. Elana will be undergoing surgery soon and is seeing us for NAM treatment. Look at that adorable face. 

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