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This is a prosthesis that addresses a condition referred to as palatopharyngeal incompetence. Palatopharyngeal incompetence broadly refers to a muscular inability to sufficiently close the port between the nasopharynx and oropharynx during speech and/or swallowing. An inability to adequately close the palatopharyngeal port during speech results in hypernasalance that, depending upon its severity, can render speakers difficult to understand or unintelligible.The potential for compromised intelligibility secondary to hypernasalance is underscored when consideration is given to the fact that only three English language phonemes – /m/, /n/, and /ng/ – are pronounced with an open palatopharyngeal port. Furthermore, an impaired ability to effect a closure of the palatopharyngeal port while swallowing can result in the nasopharyngeal regurgitation of liquid or solid boluses.

A palatal lift prosthesis addresses palatopharyngeal incompetence by physically displacing the dysfunctional soft palate in the hope of closing the palatopharyngeal port enough to mitigate hypernasal speech and/or prevent nasopharyngeal regurgitation of liquids or solids during the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. A palatal lift prosthesis consists of an oral component that stabilizes and secures the prosthesis and an oropharyngeal extension that superiorly and posteriorly displaces the impaired soft palate.

Dr. Aragon has successfully treated patients with palatopharyngeal incompetence using this prosthesis when surgery is not an option.

Case 1


An obturator is a prosthesis that artificially replaces part or all of the maxilla and associated teeth lost due to surgery, trauma or congenital problems like cleft palate. It is fabricated after complete healing of the defect has occurred.

Case 1

Case 2


Most patients who are born with cleft lip and palate are missing multiple permanent teeth. We work with other dental specialists such as pediatric dentists, orthodontist and oral surgeons to replace these missing teeth when the patients complete their growth. The patients are generally evaluated at our office at an early age (12- 13 years of age) and finish their treatment between 18-20 years of age, since most of them will require orthodontics and some extractions of teeth and bone grafting.

Case 1


A few words about us

Dr. Cecilia Aragon

Dr. Aragon was born in Lima, Peru, where she was awarded her DDS degree in 1997. She completed a one year internship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Michigan in June of 2001. In 2001, she moved to the South where she received additional training and received a master’s degree and a certificate in Prosthodontics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She moved to Canada in 2004 to join the Prosthodontics Faculty at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Aragon started to practice at the London Health Science Centre in 2006, where to this date she continues to treat medically compromised patients and rehabilitates the dentition of patients who suffered from oral cancer. In July of 2011, Dr. Aragon opened her own practice in London, Ontario. In this brand new facility she provides high quality restorative dental care to the London and surrounding communities.

Dr. Aragon is a published researcher and an adjunct reviewer of different dental journals. She continues her involvement with education at the undergraduate and graduate level at Western University and at the U. of Toronto. She is a member of various different professional organizations, including the Ontario Dental Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada and the American College of Prosthodontics. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Prosthodontics.

She loves to travel with her husband and her 2 children Catalina and Horacio.In her spare time, Dr. Aragon loves to cook and go hiking with family and friends.

Dr. Cecilia Dong

Dr. Dong is a board-certified prosthodontist born and educated in Canada. She completed a two-year pre-dentistry program at Brandon University, was awarded a DMD degree and a BSc(Dent) degree from the University of Manitoba in 1996, practiced general dentistry in Brandon, Manitoba, and was awarded a MSc(Prosthodontics) degree from the University of Toronto in 2001. She was recruited back to the University of Manitoba to begin her career as a dental educator, researcher, prosthodontist, and dental consultant. Here she achieved the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. She was a part-time dental consultant at CancerCare Manitoba and conducted a chart review study on patient-reported symptoms from oral cancer patients.

Dr. Dong joined the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in August 2019. A full-time prosthodontics role at the dental school consists of teaching dental students, continuing to pursue grant-funded research, and an opportunity for part- time private practice at Aragon Prosthodontics. Dr. Dong is passionate about utilizing her clinical expertise to provide high quality dental care to patients and guiding dental students to develop skills to do the same. She is the Dentistry Lead for Interprofessional Education at Western University which naturally aligns with her goals to contribute to optimizing student experiences and patient care.

Highlights of her volunteer experiences include participating in an all-dentist musical production of Guys and Dolls in 2013 to raise money for head and neck cancer patient treatment, a dental humanitarian mission to the Philippines in December 2014, and providing free oral cancer screenings at organized events.

Another side of Dr. Dong is her love of food and sharing her baking with friends. Her tiramisu is to die for!

She has been a reviewer for several dental journals and served as an examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. Dr. Dong is a member of the Ontario Dental Association, Canadian Dental Association, Association of Prosthodontists of Canada, and American College of Prosthodontics.


Lucia Lehman
Lucia has been working in the dental field since 2007 and joined our office in January of 2019 as our front desk expert. Originally from Peterborough, Ontario; she lived in Mexico for 18 years. Lucia enjoys spending time with her 3 kids and various volunteer activities.
Jane Watanabe
Jane has joined our office as a CDA II in 2017. She is originally from Peru but has lived in Japan and NYC for many years before settling in London, ON.
She is a soccer and volleyball mom. Her main hobbies are to take walks with her pug Bingo and cooking for family and friends. Jane is fluent in Japanese and Spanish.