Center For Cleft Lip, Palate, and Craniofacial Surgery

Cleft Center

When it comes to taking care of your child with a cleft or craniofacial condition, trust the knowledgeable and highly-skilled doctors at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery.

The multidisciplinary team at our center is nationally recognized by the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association (ACPA). And our Cleft and Craniofacial Center is one of only five treatment centers in the country outside of universities or hospitals capable of providing your family with this level of complex care. We use industry-leading surgical techniques, advanced technology, and custom treatment plans to provide predictable, natural-looking results.

Before & After Results


Family-Centered Approach to Care

At Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery, our team of specialists follows a family-centered approach, which means patients, parents, and caregivers play an active role in the decision-making, planning, treatment, and recovery process. We ensure that your voice is heard and that you feel comfortable at every step in your child’s healing journey. Working hand-in-hand with your child’s doctors, we will build a personalized treatment plan that strives to achieve the best possible clinical outcome.

Dr. Rick Kapitan

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Dr. Daniel Cook

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ACP logo-2

What To Expect

When embarking on the journey to treat and correct your child’s cleft or craniofacial condition, you can expect a multidisciplinary team of specialists who prioritize your child’s health, safety, and well-being. From prenatal consultations to treatment into adulthood, we are with you and your child every step of the way, providing elevated support, quality care, and a personalized treatment plan that optimizes function and aesthetics for improved quality of life. We work closely with you to ensure you understand the treatment, procedures, and recovery details, so you feel confident and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Cleft and Craniofacial Therapy Timeline


  • Initial Assessment
  • Lip Taping/Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM)
  • Feeding Evaluation

3-4 months

  • Lip Adhesion
  • Speech Therapy
  • Audiology

6-7 months

  • Primary or Definitive Lip Repair

12-16 months

  • Palate Repair
  • Speech Therapy
  • Ear Tubes

2 Years

  • Speech Therapy
  • Audiology
  • Pediatric Dentistry

3-5 Years

  • Speech Therapy
  • Lip Revision Surgery
  • Palate Revision Surgery

4-6 Years

  • Initial Interventional Orthodontic Evaluation
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Preparation for Alveolar Bone Grafting
  • Speech Therapy

6-8 Years

  • Orthodontic Expansion
  • Alveolar Bone Grafting
  • Pediatric Dentristry

12-14 Years

  • Definitive Orthodontics

16 Years

  • Nasal Revision Surgery

17-20 Years

  • Orthognathic Surgery


Be prepared for every step of your child’s treatment journey. Explore our pre- and post-operative instructions, insurance information, a directory of local cleft specialists, and our doctors’ missions of restoring smiles and creating change.

Free to Smile Foundation

The Free To Smile Foundation is a team of doctors and volunteers committed to changing a child’s life one smile and surgery at a time, at no cost to them. They aid impoverished children in underserved communities suffering from cleft lip, palate, and other abnormalities around the world.

Face to Face Foundation

The Face to Face Foundation is a 503(C)3 non-profit organization dedicated to treating children affected by cleft lip and palate abnormalities. Founded by Dr. Rick Kapitan in 2017, this foundation helps Charlotte area families “close the gap” and meet the many financial needs associated with their child’s treatment.

Samaritan’s Purse

Since Samaritan’s Purse Cleft Lip Project began in 2011, they have repaired the lips of more than 700 babies, children, youth, and adults. Every lip repaired over the last 10 years represents an opportunity for change and a second chance.

Real Patient Results

*Actual patients of Dr. Kapitan and team

Our Previous Mission Locations:

  • Guatemala City, Guatemala 
  • Patzun, Guatemala
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • Columbia
  • South Sudan
  • Kenya
  • Zimbabwe
  • Niger
  • Ethiopia