Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

What the Heck is an Obturator?

Tom Sentz preparing obturators

Dentist Tom Sentz and assistant Priyanka Agrawal had a busy few days attending to many of the patients with cleft palates.  They were asked to see patients who had failed palate repairs, those who still had a hole in their palate resulting in problems eating.  Tom and Priyanka made impressions of the patients’ mouths, then used the impression as a mold to fabricate a model of the mouth with dental stone (plaster).  They then used a plastic substance to form an obturator on the model.  After the substance dried, the obturator is trimmed and smoothed then fit into the patient’s mouth.  The main purpose of an obturator is to keep food out of the nose while eating.  Our dental team was so efficient that the patients who needed them were able to get their obturators before they left the hospital.


1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

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