Children's Hospital Colorado
Dr. Duncan Wilcox, Surgeon-in-Chief, performing surgery with other healthcare providers in the operating room


About the Craniofacial Orthodontic Program

The Craniofacial Orthodontic Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado is the first program in the state providing orthodontic treatment for children in the care of our cleft lip and palate and complex craniofacial teams.

Children born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other conditions that affect the face, jaws and teeth often require ongoing treatment as they grow. Our cross-specialty team carefully plans orthodontic treatment with a focus on your child’s growth and development.

Craniofacial conditions we treat

We provide comprehensive in-office orthodontic treatment for patients with craniofacial conditions from birth through adulthood. Most children with congenital craniofacial conditions will have their first orthodontic evaluation around age 6, as permanent teeth emerge. The cleft lip and craniofacial teams may recommend orthodontic consultation earlier if your child needs jaw surgery.

We provide orthodontic care for children and adolescents with conditions including:

Why choose us for craniofacial orthodontic care

Ours is the only program of its kind in Colorado. All of our craniofacial orthodontists are board-certified in orthodontics with postgraduate fellowship training in craniofacial care. They dedicate their careers to caring for kids with craniofacial conditions.

Our director, Kristen Lowe, DDS, MS, has served on several leading craniofacial centers in the country and brings her experience and passion for managing complex cases to Children’s Colorado. She is a leading expert in nasoalveolar molding for infants with cleft lip and palate. Learn more about nasoalveolar molding (download PDF in English or in Spanish).

We coordinate with our Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic or Craniofacial Center before, during and after surgery. Based on each child’s needs, we plan our procedure to fit within the surgery timeline to minimize the number of overall surgeries and reduce recovery time. In addition to experience and expertise, our craniofacial orthodontic team uses the most advanced technology and methods, such as:

  • Nasoalveolar molding (NAM): a presurgical method of making the clefts of the gum pads, lip and palate smaller and reshaping the nose to make surgery easier and more predictable
  • Intraoral scanning: using a specialized camera to scan the inside of the mouth, allowing us to create digital dental models and help us better prepare for surgery
  • 3D printing: creating custom 3D models of your child’s teeth to help us understand its unique variations
  • Virtual surgical planning and splint design: technology that allows us to custom-shape splints and other orthodontic appliances for your child’s mouth
  • Low-dose radiation CBCT scanning for surgical planning and outcomes assessment: a form of detailed scanning that allows us to better plan for surgery and track your child’s progress after surgery


Learn more about our craniofacial orthodontic research:

Contact the Craniofacial Orthodontics Program

Our program is located at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at or 720-777-3749.

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Kristen Lowe, DDS

Kristen Lowe, DDS


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