Prof. Nikolaos G. Nikitakis

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

Professor Nikolaos G. Nikitakis received his DDS and MD from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Greece and his PhD from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), USA. He is Diplomate of the ABOMP and Fellow of the AAOMP and AAOM. He has also completed a sabbatical in the School of Dentistry and MD Anderson Cancer Center in the University of Texas, Houston (UTH), USA.

Prof. Nikitakis is currently Dean, as well as Professor and Chair, Department of Oral Medicine & Pathology and Hospital Dentistry, in the School of Dentistry, NKUA.

He is EAOM Immediate Past President, in which he served as Secretary General (2014-2018) and President (2018-2021). He is also currently President of the Hellenic Society of Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology (HSOMOP).

His clinical interests include the clinical and histopathologic diagnosis and management of oral and maxillofacial diseases. His research interests primarily focus on oral, head and neck oncology / cancer research.

He has over 250 scientific papers and 150 published abstracts with more than 3,250 citations and h index: 34 on Scopus (5,400 citations and h index: 43 on Google Scholar). He is author of a textbook in Contemporary Oral Medicine and Pathology and of several chapters in other textbooks and handbooks. He serves in the Editorial Board of various scientific journals.

He has presented and lectured extensively in national and international meetings and has been invited as Visiting Professor/Lecturer in several Universities in Europe and America. For his scientific work, he has received several honors and awards.