Orthodontic fellowship gets ADA accreditation

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles craniofacial orthodontic fellowship has become the second program in the U.S. to be awarded full accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the ADA.

The accreditation award was preceded by a rigorous written review and onsite visits from the chairs of orthodontic programs from Columbia University and the University of Washington in Seattle, according to a press release. The craniofacial clinical center at New York University is the only other program in the country that has achieved similar status.

Jose Polido, DDS, MS, division chief for Dentistry and Orthodontics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, credited the work of Stephen Yen, DMD, PhD, who has provided specialized care for children with craniofacial anomalies at the hospital for more than 20 years in coordination with its Craniofacial and Cleft Center.

The process began in 2009 when the ADA determined it needed to bolster the ranks of orthodontic specialists who are trained to treat children with facial birth defects. In 2010, the ADA began accepting applications for Accreditation of Clinical Fellowships in Craniofacial and Special Care Orthodontics.

According to Dr. Yen, most postgraduate orthodontics programs in the U.S. do not fully train orthodontic residents in the care of children with craniofacial anomalies. However, the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles's fellowship has been in place since 2000 and sought accreditation through the peer review process.

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles craniofacial team follows more than 3,000 craniofacial patients, ranging in age from a few weeks after birth to 19, making it among the largest programs in the U.S.

It typically treats children with common facial birth defects, including cleft lip and palate, cleft palate and hemifacial microsomia, which represent about 70% of the patient load. But they also see children with some of the very rare craniofacial anomalies that many other providers only see in a textbook.

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