Dentofacial Orthopedics

Dr. Michelle Couto specializes in dentofacial orthopedics – the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood.

What exactly is dentofacial orthopedics?

Upon completion of dental school, many graduates immediately begin to practice as dentists. Others, however, choose to pursue a specialty. This requires extra schooling over a two- to three-year residency program.

The American Dental Association sancitions nine dental specialties. You may be familiar with some of these, such as Pediatric Dentistry (dentistry for children), and Periodontics (dentistry focusing on the gums).

One of thees nine specialties is Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. As you probably know, an orthodontist straightens teeth, and in fact: 'ortho' comes from the Greek for 'straight' or 'correct', and 'dontic' from the Greek for 'teeth.'

The word 'dentofacial' combines 'teeth' plus 'face', while "ortho" again means "straight", and "pedic" is from the Greek for "child."

It's the guidance of facial growth & development in children.

Essentially, dentofacial orthopedics is focussed on the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs by and large during childhood.

In dentofacial orthopedics, orthodontic appliances are frequently used, such as headgear and expanders.

Sometimes, orthopedic 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 orthopedics!

Dr. Michelle Couto is trained in both orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, and can develop a treatment plan that combines both forms of treatment.

Dentofacial Orthopedics, Coquitlam Family Orthodontist, BC

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