Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of improper bites, which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. The word comes from the Greek words ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.
Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only, or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth. It can also be carried out for purely aesthetic reasons with regards to improving the general appearance of patients' teeth. Treatment is most often prescribed for practical reasons such as providing the patient with a functionally improved bite.