You may have noticed that we specialize in “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.” While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the “dentofacial orthopedics” part of the title. We can explain!
One of the nine dental specialties is “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.” 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.”
Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. In both cases, appliances are frequently used – the more familiar braces for orthodontics, and other specialized appliances like tongue cribs, bite plates, and expanders, depending on what facial abnormalities are present. Sometimes orthopedic treatment may precede conventional braces, but often the two are accomplished at the same time. So if your child gets braces and an expander, he/she is undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics!
Because Dr. Torin Chenard is skilled in both areas, he is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaws as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.