You may have noticed that our doctor specializes in “orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.” While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused by the dentofacial orthopedics part of the title.
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 specialty, which requires additional schooling during a two- to three-year residency program. There are nine specialties sanctioned by the American Dental Association. Some you are likely familiar with: pediatric dentistry (dentistry for children), periodontics (dentistry focusing on the gums), and oral surgery.
“Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics” is one of the nine specialties. Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. Specifically designed appliances, like our 3D expanders, are frequently used to correct and enhance inadequate facial development. This orthopedic treatment is often completed prior to all the permanent teeth erupting in an Early or Phase I treatment which can last from 6 to 12 months. These young patients are in the 6 to 9 yo range which is the best time to treat these growth abnormalities because the bones are "soft and easier" to reshape.
Being skilled in both areas, Dr. Sebastian is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise a treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.