Dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development in children. It's an important part of what we do at Austin Heights Orthodontics in Coquitlam.
Upon completion of dental school, many graduates begin to practice as dentists straight away, choosing not to specialize. Some, however, decide to pursue a dental specialty, which of course requires an additional period of training and schooling in a two- to three-year residency program.
The American Dental Association sanctions 9 dental specialties. Periodontics (a focus on the gums disease and gum health), Pediatric Dentistry (dentistry for children), and Oral Surgery, are examples of these.
Orthodontics & 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' combines the Greek word for 'teeth', and the greek word for 'face'. 'Ortho', as you know, means 'straight', and 'pedic' is the Greek word for 'child'.
Essentially, dentofacial orthopedics is the guidance of facial growth and development, which occur primarily during childhood.
Sometimes, orthopedic treatment will take place in anticipation of conventional braces, but usually, the two take place simultaneously.
The team at Austin Heights Orthodontics is skilled in both orthodontics and orthopedics, and is able to diagnose and treat any misalignments in the jaw, teeth, or facial structure.