The term orthodontics comes from the Greek ortho meaning straight or correct and odon meaning tooth.
Although this term is used to label this area of dentistry, it falls dramatically short of describing what orthodontics has become.
In a still oversimplified but more correct definition by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association (ADA), orthodontics is that area of dentistry concerned with the supervision and guidance of the growing dentition and correction of the mature dentofacial structures.
It includes those conditions that require movement of teeth and/or correction of disordered relationships of the jaws and teeth and malformations of their related structures.
In veterinary dentistry, the enormous number of species and breeds that are encountered makes orthodontics truly a science of infinite variation. Even so, there are major and minor points of similarity in occlusions and malocclusions. Each orthodontic situation is unique according not only to the species, breed, and sex but also to the individual patient presented.