Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics (Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics)

 The mission of the Department is to train Japanese and international orthodontic clinicians, academicians, and leaders in the profession. We promote the basic and clinical researches on important orthodontic and other health-related topics. Especially, we emphasize the biological basis of growth and development in the tooth and craniofacial complex and its disorder. Our orthodontic clinic functions in close collaboration with Oral Surgery Clinic and The Osaka University Cleft Palate Center, which is the largest in Japan. Graduate students experience various types of interdisciplinary orthodontic treatment.

ProfessorTakashi YAMASHIRO
Associate ProfessorChihiro TANIKAWA
Associate ProfessorHiroshi KUROSAKA
Associate ProfessorToshihiro INUBUSHI
Assistant ProfessorShinsuke ITOH
Assistant ProfessorAyaka OKA
Assistant ProfessorYuka MURATA


1.Growth and developmental of tooth and craniofacial complex

 The goal of this research project is to identify cellular and molecular causes for craniofacial and tooth development. A variety of approaches are utilized, including animal models that are characterized through molecular biological and biochemical analyses and various imaging techniques.

Runx1 deficiency results in anterior clefting in the palate

 These investigation leads our research field furthermore so that novel diagnostic or preventive medicine for congenital craniofacial anomalies could be developed. We are interested in the followings;

  • Epithelial fusion of the palatal process
  • Odontoblast differentiation and sugar chain modification
  • Epigenetic influences on development of malocclusion
  • Runx/Cbfb signaling in tooth and craniofacial development
  • Genetic and epidemiologic studies of human populations, regards to congenital craniofacial abnormalities.
Reduction of retinoic acid signaling leads to embryonic craniofacial defects

2.Mathematical modeling of mouth and face

 Both facial appearance and facial expressions play an important role as a means of nonverbal communication in the transmission of emotions and thoughts in social life; thus, facial morphologies exert a strong influence for individuals on obtaining socially acceptable self-image. A repaired cleft lip and palate (CLP) is characterized by scar tissue that generally results in obvious facial deformities and distorted facial expressions, which may cause serious sociopsychological issues with respect to self-image. From a sociopsychological standpoint, establishment of an acceptable facial appearance including motions for each patient with CLP has become a crucial treatment goal in surgical/orthodontic clinics. Thus, we are interested in the followings;

  1. Changes in facial topography associated with facial expressions in patients with a cleft lip/palate
  2. Development of a mathematical model that predicts the facial morphologies after orthodontic treatment
Averaged 3D faces for patients with a repaired unilateral cleft lip/palate