Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry which focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. These irregularities include misaligned, crowded, or protruded teeth, and misaligned or poorly positioned jaws. Orthodontic treatment is directed toward improving dental and oral health as well as creating an attractive smile, proper bite, and aligned jaws. A pleasing smile is an important element in the development of positive self-esteem.
Orthodontists are dentists who have specialized in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. An orthodontist must complete college requirements before entering a four-year graduate program in dentistry. After dental school, a two-to-three-year full-time university-based accredited orthodontic residency must be completed. By learning the biology of tooth movement, facial growth and development, and facial esthetics, orthodontists are uniquely qualified to straighten teeth and correct jaw abnormalities.