Clinical Department & Center

Clinic of Stomatognathic Function


Our clinic provides medical care for language/speech disorders as well as congenital abnormalities and deformation of the mouth and jaw area. 
Cleft lip and palate, in particular, is the most frequent congenital abnormality of the body surface (one in 500 Japanese people and approximately 70 people per year in Hokkaido are estimated to be born with the disease). Treatment of this disease can take long periods of time from birth to adulthood and involves expertise of many specialists in the relevant medical and dental fields.  
Systematic management is important for patients to continue coherent treatment without anxiety.


Medical care system

Specialty outpatient clinics at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the Department of Oral Medicine at the Dental Care Center provide access to our clinic.    
Our clinic then takes the initiative to provide treatment in cooperation with many specialized fields.
Since patients come from various parts of Hokkaido, we cooperate with regional hospitals and healthcare facilities to provide the same advanced-level treatment to all patients.

Treatment policy

In addition to improving suckling, performing surgery to improve the shape and function of the mouth and face, providing speech therapy, cavity/malocclusion treatment and other treatments involving the oral cavity area, we also maintain and manage team-based medical care in cooperation with Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery and other clinical departments.
For the treatment of cleft lip and palate, we employ a special treatment system in consideration of esthetic problems and speech problems as well as the future growth of the jaw and face.
A push-back procedure has traditionally been employed to close cleft lip (palatoplasty).  
This is highly effective to improve speech difficulties, but may cause unrepairable problems during growth of the jaw or face.
Thus, our clinic radically improved the therapy in 1995 to allow the development of speech and growth of the jaw.  
We now apply a new surgical procedure whereby a plate called “Hots plate” is inserted into the upper jaw immediately after birth to correct deformity of the jaw and minimize surgical invasion of cleft lip.
For velopharyngeal insufficiency, which involves air leaks from the nose despite the absence of cleft lip and which causes speech problems, we work on treatment using speech therapy, an obturator, or surgery to improve the closing function of the rhinopharynx.

Areas of medical care

The following treatments are important for our clinic to provide team medical care in cooperation with other medical specialists in various fields.
  • Counseling on congenital abnormalities of the mouth or face (cooperation with medical geneticists)
  • Breastfeeding management for newborn/suckling babies and management of jawbone growth
  • Plastic surgery of the mouth, jaw and face, and surgical treatment such as tooth and bone transplants
  • Diagnosis and treatment of speech problems
  • Oral healthcare and cavity prevention/treatment during infancy
  • Orthodontic treatment for malalignment and deformation of the jaw

Consultation hours and appointments

Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (by appointment only)
For first-visit patients, there are two ways to make an appointment.
  1. When a patient makes an appointment by telephone
    Clinic of Stomatognathic Function or the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery inside the Third Clinic at the Dental Care Center
    (Make a direct appointment with a dentist)
    Tel.: 011-706-4349/4352/4386 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
  2. When a patient makes an appointment through his/her current medical institution
    Please consult your regular doctor (refer to “Medical Experts” on the website).  
*Speech therapy by speech-language-hearing therapists is organized by your attending dentist after the first visit.
(By appointment only; Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings)

Medical care results

Item 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Number of new patients with cleft lip and palate 31 36 36 35 20 35
Number of cleft lip and palate surgical procedures under general anesthesia 28 33 30 37 28 33