You may have noticed that Dr. Gibson 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 orthodontic specialty certification, which requires additional hospital based training during a three-year residency program. This is an eleven year process after high school graduation! 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 and due to the significant complexity of this field, it was the first dental specialty established over 124 years ago. Essentially, while orthodontics entails the management of tooth movement, dentofacial orthopedics involves the guidance and manipulation of facial growth and development including the joints, which occurs largely during childhood. Appliances are frequently used — the more familiar braces for orthodontics, and other specialized appliances like functional appliances and 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, they are  actually undergoing orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. Early, interceptive treatment combining both of these approaches can offer much better functional, airway, and esthetic oucomes in may cases. 

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