When a dentist decides to become an orthodontist, they are required to have two more years of schooling after dental school to receive their specialization certificate. During these two years, orthodontists not only learn about the correction of teeth and jaw bite, but about facial abnormalities as well. The area dealing with facial abnormalities is what encompasses dentofacial orthopedics.
Dentofacial orthopedics addresses skeletal abnormalities in the face while creating proper airways for growth and development. This usually involves correction of the jaw and dental arches with appliances such as palatal expanders and other devices that correct jaw alignment and protrusion. Sometimes orthopedics may be addressed before the orthodontic phase, or they may be treated at the same time.
By being a specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, your orthodontist is better able to address your teeth irregularities in their entirety.