Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM)

At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this surgery and invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the surgery and how you can help.

What Is Nasoalveolar Molding?

Congratulations on the birth of your child! Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) is a treatment option offered at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to prepare your child for the lip closure surgery. The goal of treatment is to bring the gum pads (alveolus) together, reducing the size of the cleft/gap between the lips. An important part of this therapy is shaping the cartilage of the nose.


There are variations in cleft lip and palate anatomy. Below are examples of unilateral and bilateral complete cleft anatomy as it relates to NAM therapy.

Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate

Nasoalveolar Molding

Nasoalveolar Molding

NAM Examples

Nasoalveolar Molding

Before/mid-way through treatment

Nasoalveolar Molding

NAM treatment - bilateral cleft

Nasoalveolar Molding

Before/After Treatment

Nasoalveolar Molding

NAM instructions

There are several different types of NAM techniques. Your doctor will give you specific instructions tailored for your baby's treatment at each visit. It's common to have a short period of the baby adapting after each visit. It's important to be aware of any sores in the mouth, nose, or cheeks. You can use a cotton swab and flashlight to pull back the lips and visualize areas that may be causing discomfort. If any sores are noted, or if the baby refuses to feed or is inconsolably upset, please call and we will see you for a visit prior to the adjustment. If the baby shows any sign of difficulty breathing, remove the plate and go to the emergency room.

Important numbers

Orthodontics/scheduling NAM visits: 412-692-8799

Team Leader: 412-692-7959 office/pager 412-227-1686

After hours or weekend emergencies: Call the hospital operator at 412-692-5325 and ask for the Plastic Surgery resident on call.