UW School of Dentistry


Growth and Development of the Face and Dentition

Geoff Greenlee

2 Credits / Quarter 5 (Autumn, Second Year)

Course Description

Basic principles of pre- and postnatal growth and development integrated with the recognition, analysis and treatment planning of problems encountered in dental and skeletal malocclusions.

Educational Goals

The student will learn principles of facial growth, occlusal development, and diagnosis of the different types of malocclusion. The overall goal is for the student to gain knowledge and skills necessary for the analysis and treatment of malocclusion.


  • Learn the important history of orthodontics, as well as basic etiology of malocclusion, and basic epidemiology of orthodontic problems
  • Describe the major sites of growth and types of bone growth in the cranial base, nasomaxillary complex, and mandible and how differential growth of the craniofacial components contributes to changes in size, shape and proportions of craniofacial structures.
  • Understand the planes of space used in orthodontic diagnosis.
  • Provide an understanding of the basis of the Angle classification of malocclusion, and the characteristics of each classification. Recognize the general and specific factors that may contribute to the development of a malocclusion.
  • Describe changes in the dental arches that can be expected with normal growth in the jaws and the transition from primary to permanent dentition.
  • Know the normal eruption patterns of teeth and be able to recognize abnormal eruption sequences.
  • Describe the role of space management in orthodontics. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of serial extraction in the mixed dentition.
  • Describe the mechanical principles and biological phenomenon associated with orthodontic tooth movement and outline various categories of tooth movement.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the design of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances.

Course Outline

Lecture topics include: classification of occlusion; growth and development; development of occlusion; diagnosis and treatment, A-P and vertical and transverse; biology of orthodontic tooth movement; embryology, including intramembraneous ossification and endochrondral ossification; perimeter arch changes and ectopic eruption.

Competencies Addressed

  • UWSOD Competency 1: Examine a patient using contemporary diagnostic methods to evaluate the head and neck region and to reach a diagnosis of the patient’s oral and craniofacial health status.
  • UWSOD Competency 13: Assess the dentition to determine the need for orthodontic treatment.

Course Expectations

To successfully meet the requirements of this course, the student is required to attend lectures, read all required study materials, and to demonstrate her/his understanding of the lectures, reading materials, and seminars through homework assignments, quizzes and a final exam. Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course.  Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.


*last updated: 11/7/2011