News items 2021 Jan Schols appointed professor of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics

4 November 2021

Jan Schols has been appointed Professor of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Radboud university medical center / Radboud University as of 1 November 2021. In addition to his clinical work for and with patients and his role within the dental school and postgraduate training in orthodontics, his research focuses on the development of 3D techniques and innovative treatment methods, all for the benefit of the patient.

Jan Schols studied Dentistry at the, then, Catholic University in Nijmegen. "I did that because I wanted to help people. At the same time, I am also a doer," he explains. After working as a dentist for several years, he decided to specialize as an orthodontist. "A dentist sees most patients once or twice a year. The idea of seeing patients longer and more often within a comprehensive treatment appealed to me. It still does."

Since 2008, Schols has been associated with Radboud university medical center, first alongside his own practice, and full time since 2014. In that year, he joined as Program Director for postgraduate teaching of the Department of Orthodontics and Craniofacial Biology (the biology of the skull and face). "I enjoy teaching, both to the undergraduate dental students, who are still at the beginning of their careers, as to our postgraduate students, the group that really wants to specialize as orthodontists."

3D innovations for the patient

Jan Schols (Genhout-Beek, 1959) obtained his doctorate in 1988 on dental development and facial growth in adolescents (title thesis: Gebiβentwicklung und Gesichtswachstum in der Adoleszenz). A lot of clinical research is ongoing at Radboudumc, he explains, focused on innovative methods. "The Department of Orthodontics has a strong reputation in the field of digitization and 3D research, which remains one of our main research themes." In the coming years, Schols will continue research into AI applications, augmented reality, and printed orthodontic appliances, for the benefit of patient care.

All research takes place with the patient in mind. Schols gives an example: "For certain orofacial anomalies that the orthodontist treats together with the oral surgeon, patients need two surgical procedures both before and after the orthodontic treatment. Through our research, it is possible to skip the first surgical procedure. This has been replaced by a newly developed device that we as orthodontists can place ourselves, without surgery. This is now standard practice at the Radboudumc, and the expectation is that this method will be adopted nationwide."

Emphasizing the medical aspect

Finally, Schols emphasizes the role that orthodontists have for patients. "For the general public, it's often only about the cosmetic aspect of the work: how does someone look after orthodontic treatment. There is a focus on attractiveness and appearance in society. People can experience social and psychological problems from this, WHO wrote this year." However, there may be more attention to the medical aspect, says Schols: "We know, for example, that if someone has a large discrepancy in the position of the  upper and lower jaw at a young age, there is a high probability that he or she will experience medical complaints from this later in life. An orthodontic treatment at a young age can prevent this. In the coming years, I want to continue to devote attention to this."

Prof. Dr. J.G.J.H. Schols as Professor ‘Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics’ appointment November 1, 2021, for 5 years.

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Pauline Dekhuijzen

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