Dr. Athina Chatzigianni

The use of oral biofluids in orthodontics

Recently, the use of biofluids and the investigation of biomarkers seems to become an important tool leading to personalized diagnosis and personalized treatment planning in the medical science. Same way, novel possibilities can be offered in dentistry and orthodontics by the collection and analysis of the saliva and the gingival crevicular fluid (GCF). Various clinical conditions could be estimated with this simple, non-invasive, non-radiological developing diagnostic method. Some examples include the identification of several salivary bone metabolism biochemical markers involved in orthodontic tooth movement, while other biomarkers have been associated with orthodontically induced inflammatory root resorption or periodontal inflammation. Further, salivary biomarkers could potentially be useful in the diagnosis of obstructed sleep apnea and the treatment outcome. It is also noteworthy that peri-miniscrew implant GCF biomolecules alterations were observed and correlated to mini-implant success or failure. Moreover, GCF biomarkers were found to be associated with the efficiency of orthodontic and functional treatment of growing patients. Finally, the finding that the level of certain salivary or GCF biomolecules increases during the pubertal growth spurt is of great importance and may provide a quantitative way of assessing skeletal maturity. Despite these investigations, the clinical applicability of the use of biomarkers is still limited, nevertheless a rapid development in this field is expected in order to optimize orthodontic diagnosis, treatment progress and orthodontic treatment outcome.

Short Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Athina Chatzigianni is Assistant Professor at the Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki-AUTh, Greece. She graduated first in the rank from the Faculty of Dentistry of AUTh in 2002, continued as a Research Fellow at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and received her Master of Science in Orthodontics from the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Greece in 2007. She completed her Doctorate Degree in 2010 in the University of Bonn, Germany. She has received Awards from the Dental Association of Thessaloniki (2002), the WJ Houston Poster Award (EOS, 2009), the Excellence Scholarship for Postdoctoral Research Fellows (AUTh, 2012), the 2nd Poster Prize (MOIP, 2016) and attended the NY Langone Medical Center for Craniofacial anomalies (New York, 2016). Her research proposal with the title “The role of biomarkers in saliva and gingival crevicular fluid as indicators of skeletal and dental maturity in children” received a Research Grand from Greece and the European Union (2019). In 2022 she was awarded from the Deanery of the School of Health Sciences for her academic performance during the year 2021, by receiving four awards in various academic fields.

She is General Secretary of the Orthodontic Society of Northern Greece, General Secretary and founding member of the Balkan Association of Orthodontic Specialists and member of orthodontic societies worldwide. Her interests include biomarkers, mini-implants, lingual orthodontics, 3D imaging, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial orthodontics and geometric morphometrics.