A special dimension of dental art
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dentofacial anomalies.
Every specialist in orthodontics is a dentist at first. A four-year undergraduate program allows someone to obtain the D.M.D. title (Doctor of Dental Medicine) which leads to the practice of general dentistry.
Specializing in orthodontics requires the completion of an advanced program of studies of a minimum of 2 years (certificate in orthodontics) or 3 years (master’s degree in orthodontics).
This specialized program includes subjects as varied as genetics, embryology, growth and development in humans, biophysics and biomechanics. Only dentists who have enrolled in, and successfully completed, this academic program may call themselves “orthodontists”. All dentists who obtain a degree in one of the specialties of dentistry (orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics, endodontics, oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, dental public health) must pass the Fellowship examination of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in order for the dental regulatory authority of each province to grant them the title of specialists in their respective domains. In Quebec, the Ordre des dentistes du Québec governs the dental profession.
Dr Edward H. Angle is considered as being the father of modern orthodontics. In 1892, he became the first man to specialize in the teaching and practice of orthodontics. He was then a professor at the University of Minnesota. In 1900, he opened his first private school for the teaching of orthodontics in St. Louis. Dr Angle described three classes of malocclusions based on the relationship between the upper first molar and the lower first molar.
Class I: normal molar relationship (no anteroposterior discrepancy), but dental anomalies, rotations, ectopias and lacks of space are present.
Class II: the lower dentition is shifted posteriorly (backward or “distally”) compared to the upper dentition, with or without dental anomalies.
Class III: the lower dentition is shifted anteriorly (forward or “mesially”) compared to the upper dentition, with or without dental anomalies.
For more information on Dr Angle’s life, consult the site: