You may have noticed that Drs. Maplethorp and Siu specialize in "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics." While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the "dentofacial orthopaedics" part of the title. We can explain!
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 orthopaedics? "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 orthopaedics 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 headgear and expanders depending on what facial abnormalities are present. Sometimes orthopaedic treatment may precede conventional braces, but often the two are accomplished at the same time. So if your child gets braces and headgear, he's undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics!
At Maple Ridge Orthodontics, we are able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopaedic treatments.
This can sometimes mean that treatment be divided into two phases- first the correction of the facial structure while the face is still growing and then the correction of individual teeth position once all the teeth have come it. While we do our best to keep the length of treatment as compact as possible, if the teeth are very late in coming in, treatment sometimes does need to be in two phases.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic treatments or how they can benefit you, please contact our office.