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Dentofacial Orthopedics

You may have noticed that Dr. Battle 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 orthodontic specialist starts out in dental school, which is 4 years after a 4 year undergraduate education (8 total years post high school). Upon graduation from dental school, some immediately go into practice as general dentists. Others choose to pursue a specialty, which requires additional training. 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 requires an additional 3 years of training (11 total years post high school). 

 "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics" is the oldest 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 and adolescence. Appliances are frequently used — the more familiar braces for orthodontics, and other specialized appliances like expanders depending on what facial abnormalities are present. Sometimes orthopedic treatment may precede conventional braces, but often the two are used at the same time. So if your child gets braces and an expander he/she is actually undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Being skilled in both areas, Dr. Battle is able to diagnose any misalignments in the teeth and jaw as well as the facial structure, and can devise the perfect treatment plan that integrates both orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic treatments.