An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating malocclusions, which are mis-alignments of the teeth, jaws, or both. Following dental school, an orthodontist completes several years of full-time additional training under the direct supervision of experienced orthodontists.

The orthodontist will align teeth respect to the surrounding soft tissues, with or without movement of the underlying bones (which can be moved either through orthopedic or orthognathic movements). Orthopedic movement of the jaws is attained through growth modification of one or both jaws of growing children only. Several applainces are utilized for this; including functional appliances, headgear, facemasks, and elastics. Orthopedic appliances can influence the development of an adolescent’s profile and give an improved aesthetic and functional result.