vancouver Orthodontics

Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dentofacial orthopedics – the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood – is an important part of what we do here at Vancouver Orthodontics.


Dentofacial Orthopedics, Vancouver Orthodontics

What is dentofacial orthopedics?

All orthodontists begin their studies in dental school. Upon completion of dental school, many graduates begin to practice as dentists immediately. Some, however, opt to pursue a dental specialty, which requires additional training and schooling over a two- to three-year residency program.

The American Dental Association sanctions a range of 9 dental specialties. These include Pediatric Dentistry (dentistry for children), Periodontics (focused on the gums), and Oral Surgery, for example.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is another such specialty. You're likely aware that an orthodontist straightens teeth. In fact, 'ortho' comes from the Greek word for 'straight' or 'correct', and 'dontic' from the Greek word for 'teeth'.

The word 'dentofacial' is a combination of the Greek words for 'teeth' and 'face'. 'Ortho', as you know, means 'straight', and 'pedic' is the Greek word for 'child'.

Guiding the facial growth & development in children.

Essentially, while orthodontics involves managing of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics is the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs mostly during childhood.

In both cases, appliances are often used; braces for orthodontics, and for orthopedics, other specialized appliances like headgear and palatal expanders.

In some cases, orthopedic treatment may take place in anticipation for conventional braces, but most of the time, the two take place simultaneously. 

The team at Vancouver Orthodontics is skilled in both orthodontics and orthopedics, and is able to diagnose and treat any misalignments in the jaw, teeth, or facial structure.

Learn More About Orthodontics For Children

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