Orthodontics is a specialized discipline of dentistry that focuses on fixing malocclusions in humans and animals. Malocclusions are abnormalities in the alignment of the teeth and the position of the jawbone. They can lead to issues around the mouth such as problems chewing, tooth decay, and unbalanced facial features. Orthodontics employs expert orthodontists who have an extensive educational background including a university degree, a dental school degree, and an orthodontics school degree. Orthodontists are trained to correct malocclusions in children, adults, and pets in some rare cases. Treatment options include surgery or the application of mechanical devices. Treatment factors include orthodontic indexes and the age of the patient. Orthodontics possesses the ability to correct jaw and teeth problems but also possesses teeth damage risks which patients should be aware of.
Children, adults, and even pets in exceptional cases can benefit from orthodontic care. Children with permanent teeth that are still growing have more treatment options that include devices and apparatuses. A common orthodontic strategy for children is to use devices to restrict or promote growth to achieve desired dimensional outcomes in the teeth and the jaw. Adults have less device-only options and may require surgery or the removal of teeth. Devices such as braces are applied to dogs only when severe jaw and teeth problems are causing the animal pain when eating or severe sinus issues.