The specialty of Orthodontics addresses the diagnosis, prevention, management, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws, as well as misaligned bite patterns. It also addresses the modification of facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
Treatment may require several months to a few years and entails using dental braces and other appliances to gradually adjust tooth position and jaw alignment. In cases where the malocclusion is severe, jaw surgery may be incorporated into the treatment plan. Treatment usually begins before a person reaches adulthood, as pre-adult bones may be adjusted more easily before adulthood.