[ awr-thuh-don-shuh, -shee-uh ]
/ ˌɔr θəˈdɒn ʃə, -ʃi ə /
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noun Dentistry.
treatment for the correction of irregularly aligned teeth, usually involving braces and sometimes oral surgery.


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Origin of orthodontia

First recorded in 1840–50; orth- + -odont + -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is orthodontia?

Orthodontia is a dental treatment to align teeth, as in My teeth were so crooked that I needed orthodontia to straighten them out.

In dentistry, orthodontia is any treatment designed to straighten misaligned teeth. This most commonly involves using dental braces to slowly move teeth into a desired position. It may also involve surgery to remove problematic teeth as well as the use of other dental appliances such as biteplates and retainers.

Orthodontia is also the branch of dentistry concerned with correcting misaligned teeth. The branch is also called orthodontics.

Orthodontia is normally applied to children and young adults because bone growth and structure are more easily manipulated before adulthood. Adults can also have orthodontic work done, although it may take longer and cost more.

Example: Both of my kids needed orthodontia to straighten their teeth.

Where does orthodontia come from?

The first records of the term orthodontia come from around the 1840s. It combines the combining form orth-, meaning “straight” or “upright,” the combining form -odont, meaning “having teeth,” and the suffix -ia, which is used to create nouns that denote a certain quality. These terms literally combine to mean “The quality of having straight teeth,” but it is normally used in reference to the treatment of the teeth.

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What are some other forms related to orthodontia?

What are some synonyms for orthodontia?

What are some words that share a root or word element with orthodontia

What are some words that often get used in discussing orthodontia?

How is orthodontia used in real life?

Orthodontia and orthodontics are for all intents and purposes synonyms. However, orthodontia is usually used to specifically refer to the treatment itself while orthodontics usually refers to the field, study, and practice of performing the treatment.


Try using orthodontia!

True or False?

Dental braces are used in orthodontia.

How to use orthodontia in a sentence