Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries Specialize in Dentofacial Orthopedics

Yes, it is true that Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries specialize in both “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.” While most people have heard of orthodontics, many are confused as to what the “dentofacial orthopedics” part of their specialty entails. We can explain!

Every orthodontist begins their career in dental school. Upon completion of dental school, some graduates immediately become dentists. Others choose to pursue a dental specialty, which requires additional schooling during a two-to-three-year residency program. There are nine specialties identified by the American Dental Association. Some may sound familiar, such as Pediatric Dentistry (dentistry for children), Periodontics (dentistry focusing on the gums), and Oral Surgery.

One of the nine specialties is “Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.” You may realize 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 practice of ensuring proper tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance of facial growth and development, which occurs largely during childhood. In both cases, appliances frequently aid this process – the more familiar braces for pediatric orthodontics, and other specialized appliances like expanders and headgear are present. Sometimes orthopedic treatment may precede conventional braces, but often the two mesh to achieve their respective goals. So if your child gets braces and headgear, he’s undergoing both orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics!

Because Dr. Robinson and Dr. Ries have successful experience in both areas, they are able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can create a treatment plan that utilizes both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.