Assoc. Prof. Apostolos Tsolakis

Treatment of craniofacial anomalies and facial clefts [Round Table]

Patients with craniofacial anomalies and facial clefts require dental, orthodontic and surgery services as a direct result of the medical condition and as an integral part of the habilitation process. Treatment often takes place in phases which may include treatment in infancy, the primary dentition, the transitional dentition and the permanent dentition. The skeletal and dental components should therefore be regularly evaluated to see if a skeletal asymmetry and malocclusion is present or developing. Diagnosis and treatment planning requires a variety of diagnostic records as well as clinical examination. Records are obtained in a serial fashion to monitor dentofacial growth and development as well as the results of ongoing treatment.

Associated problems with craniofacial anomalies and clefts may be: a. dental (missing or supernumerary teeth, peg-shaped, malpositioned, lack of bone support), b. skeletal (maxillary/mandibular deficiency, asymmetry), c. feeding (sucking, swallowing) , d. hearing (recurrent ear infections, middle ear built-up, hearing loss) , e. speech (hypernasality, hyponasality, articulation, resonance) and f. emotional and social issues (low self-confidence, peers teasing, over-estimations of diversity).

An organized craniofacial team based on guidelines from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) is the most appropriate to provide coordinated treatment and care in a consistent manner. The individuals on team are: team coordinator, plastic surgeon, maxillofacial surgeon, orthodontist, speech and language pathologist, dentist, psychologist, social worker, geneticist, otolaryngologist, primary care specialist, audiologist and nurse.

Several craniofacial and cleft cases are presented from the surgical, orthodontic and dental standpoint.

Short Curriculum Vitae

Apostolos I. Tsolakis earned his DDS Degree from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece and received his Master’s Degree of Science in Dentistry with specialty certification in Orthodontics at Case Western Reserve University, USA. Dr. Tsolakis holds a PhD Degree from Athens University, Greece. Ηe is a former Assοciate Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Athens, Greece. He serves as Adjunct Associate Professor of Orthodontics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.   He has worked through academics on a variety of research projects, including the normal and abnormal growth and development of the mandible and maxilla, biologic mechanisms of tooth movement in normal and osteoporotic rats, class III orthodontic problems and impacted teeth with selected publications in these fields. He has published extensively in international and Greek journals and he has contributed to several book chapters with one of his noteworthy contributions to Enlow’s and Hans’s book “Essentials of Facial Growth”. He has lectured extensively in Universities and Professional Organizations in Europe and United States. He was the editor of the journal “European Journal of Dental Science” and he serves as the president of the recently established European Society of Cranio-Dento-Facial Anomalies (EUSOFA). Also he maintains private clinical orthodontic practices in Athens and Larissa Greece.