Dentofacial orthopedics is the guidance of facial growth in children, and helps to lessen the need for, or even avoid, more invasive orthodontic treatment later in life.
You may have noticed that Orthodontic Specialist members of the BC Orthodontics Group also specialize in "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics." While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are unfamiliar with the "dentofacial orthopedics" part of the title.
We can explain!
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 dental 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 are Pediatric Dentistry (dentistry for children), Periodontics (dentistry focusing on the gums), and Oral Surgery.
One of the nine specialties is "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics."
What does "dentofacial orthopedics" mean?
You probably know that an orthodontist straightens teeth, and indeed: "ortho" comes from the Greek for "straight" or "correct," and "dontic" from the Greek for "teeth." But what about dentofacial orthopedics? "Dentofacial" is "teeth" plus "face" while "ortho" again means "straight" and "pedic" is from the Greek for "child."