You may have noticed that our doctor specializes in “orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.” While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the dentofacial orthopedics part of the title.
Every orthodontist starts out in dental school. Upon completion of dental school, some graduates immediately go into practice as dentists. Others choose to pursue a specialty, which requires additional schooling during a two- to three-year residency program. There are nine specialties sanctioned by the Canadian Dental Association. Some you are likely familiar with: pediatric dentistry (dentistry for children), periodontics (dentistry focusing on the gums), and oral surgery.
"Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics” is one of the nine specialties. Essentially, while orthodontics means tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics means corrective guidance of facial growth and development. During childhood and adolesence appliances such as expanders, upper jaw protraction headgear, or lower jaw advancement devices can be used to guide and correct unfavorable jaw growth. Orthopedic treatment may precede the aligners or conventional braces, but often the two are used at the same time. So if your child gets aligners or braces and expanders or headgear, he/she is actually undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
Being skilled in both areas, our doctor is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.