Pirttiniemi Pertti

Oral and craniofacial development research group


Research unit: Oral health sciences


Group leader

Pertti Pirttiniemi (DDS, PhD), Professor and Chair, Oral Development and Orthodontics, Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland

Chief Dentist, Oulu University Hospital, Medical Research Center Oulu


What do we do

A major focus on studies is on NFBC-studies on tooth eruption, facial pain, lip morphology and aesthetics, occlusion and facial soft tissue characteristics.

Study project KVANTTI on individuals with sex chromosome abnormalities looking for the effect of X and Y chromosome genes on tooth morphology and size.

Development of the occlusion is one main target of research. Abnormal eruption pattern of the permanent canine and other developmental abnormalities of the dentition are key point of interest.

The series of studies is aimed to increase knowledge of 3D craniofacial normal and aberrant growth. A RCT “ Newborn head molding and later asymmetries in 3D head shape modelling” project assess head size, head shape and cervical movements with special interest in asymmetries and changes in those during childhood after preterm and term birth in Finnish population. The special emphasis in the clinical randomized intervention is on preventing  craniofacial asymmetries and functional cervical impairment between infancy and school age.

Clinical randomized studies are conducted on orthodontic treatment timing and the effectiveness of the treatment.

The Genetic Background of Nonsyndromic Orofacial Clefts -study aims to identify genes predisposing to orofacial clefts. The subclinical phenotypic features in unaffected cleft family members are used to improve the power of genetic studies.

The other studies aim to find the effect of genetic and environmental factors on facial 3D development  by using twin study in a Lithuanian genetic cohort  population and in Finnish orthognathic patient population.


Our team

Post doc researchers

  • Harila Virpi, DDS, PhD, Docen, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Heikkinen Tuomo, DDS, PhD, Docent, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Lähdesmäki Raija, DDS, PhD, Docent, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Perkiömäki Marja Riitta, DDS, PhD, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Pirilä-Parkkinen Kirsi, DDS, PhD, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Silvola Anna-Sofia, DDS, PhD, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Valkama Marita, MD, PhD, pediatrist, Docent
  • Vuollo Ville, PhD

PhD students

  • Hannula Matti, DDS
  • Hauru Riikka, DDS
  • Julku Johanna, DDS, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Kanavakis Georgios, DDS, specialist in Orthodontics
  • Kiviahde Heikki, DDS
  • Krooks Laura, M.Sc., BA in Dentistry
  • Launonen Anniina, DDS
  • Maikku Mari, MD
  • Mitsuko Nakayama, M.Sc.
  • Mursu Eerika, BA in Dentistry
  • Närhi Linnea, DDS
  • Pentinpuro Raija, DDS
  • Savolainen Tuula, DDS
  • Tervonen Minna, DDS
  • Yu Jia, DDS


Where are we headed

The long term outcome target is to circumvent adverse consequences of early dental development and cranial asymmetries during growth. The most highlighted aspect in this trial is the involvement in emphasizing the use of a new 3 D–digital surface imaging innovatively in early asymmetry diagnostics.

Better understanding about the association between genetic and phenotypic factors will lead to more accurate diagnostics, and, ultimately, to better understanding of dental and craniofacial development.


Our main collaborators

Prof. Stephen Richmond, Cardiff University, UK
Chin-To Fong, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA
Prof. Chung H. Kau, University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA
Prof. Ilga Urtane, Riga Stradis University, Latvia
Prof. Antanas Sidlauskas, Kaunas Medical University, Lithuania
Prof. Alan Brook, University of Adelaide, Australia
Associate Professor Huang Hechang, Stony Brook University, NY, USA


How to find us

Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Finland
Oulu University Hospital, Medical Research Center Oulu
P.O.Box 5281, FI-90014 Oulu

Last updated: 9.7.2019