Maja Ovsenik

Maja Ovsenik

Dr. Maja Ovsenik received her dental and orthodontic education at the Medical Faculty/Department of Stomatology, University of Ljubljana. After graduation in 1986 she was awarded a Medical research fellowship of the Ministry of Research and Technology for work on the epidemiology of malocclusion. She completed her postgraduate studies in orthodontics and received her B.Sc. in 1993 at the Medical Faculty in Ljubljana. In 1998 she commenced her postgraduate internship at the Medical Center of Ljubljana/Department of Orthodontics.

Her main fields of research are:  malocclusion assessment methods and the epidemiology of malocclusion, longitudinal studies on functional and morphological changes of the orofacial region, orthodontic treatment with the Fränkel appliance, early treatment of Class III and unilateral functional posterior crossbite with mandibular shift, interdisciplinary treatment.

She is a member of the European Orthodontic Society, the Ambassador of the American Association of Orthodontists,  the World Federation of Orthodontics, a Provisional member of the Angle Society of Europe and the president of the Scientific Committee of the Slovenian Orthodontic Society.

She is Chair of the Department of Orthodontics at the Medical Faculty/Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. She was a Past President of Slovenian Orthodontic Society (2010). She is Active member of the Angle Society of Europe.

Summary of Speech
Early Treatment of Malocclusion – Is it Worth the Burden?

Preventive and early treatment in orthodontics is still the subject of debate and controversy regarding cost-effectiveness in the analysis of functional and psychosocial benefits. It is considered that the ideal time for treatment is in the late mixed dentition period, while others concluded that early orthodontic treatment would be beneficial and desirable, especially to enhance skeletal and dental development and to correct habits, function, and malocclusion in their early stages, especially transverse discrepancies which may lead to temporomandibular joint problems or facial asymmetry.

Diagnosis of facial asymmetry is routinely based on the analysis of patient’ s facial photography by determining a symmetry plane and measuring linear and planar differences between the two hemifaces. As it is very difficult to evaluate facial asymmetry in small growing children from facial photography, constructing two mirror facial halves is one possibility of the assessment. However, the main drawback of this method is that facial photographs show a 3D structure in two dimensional perspective, the landmarks used to define the facial midline and to construct the symmetry plane can not be exactly defined, and thus, the precision of the method is highly questionable. PA involves iradiation risk and is therefore not appropriate to be used in small growing children.

Furthermore, the assessment of tongue posture and function during clinical examination in small growing is unreliable due to anatomical limitations. Ultrasongoraphy of the tongue posture and function is a non-invasive simple and reliable method in the assessment of tongue function and posture in growing children and may be used in the assessment of early treatment of irregular functions.

The use of three-dimensional methods will be described to evaluate the assessment of facial morphology, tongue posture and function in early treatment of Class III and uniulateral functional posterior crossbite.