In an editorial in the June 2017 issue, Dr Nadia Laniado wrote the following: “A fundamental issue distinguishes the specialty of orthodontics from the rest of dentistry: malocclusion is not a disease, but it is a variation from ideal. Therefore, while the rest of dentistry is primarily concerned with the sequelae of chronic conditions, including dental caries and periodontal disease, orthodontists are treating something for which there is no bacterial etiology and no potential cure” (Laniado N. The big picture. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2017;151:1013-4).
Granted, malocclusion is not a bacterial, viral, or neoplastic disease, but it is a dentofacial anomaly with a classification code of M26 according to the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases-10. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved this classification code in October 2015. This classification is very important for potential reimbursement, Internal Revenue Service tax approval for income tax deductions, health savings accounts, and flexible spending accounts.
∗ The viewpoints expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect those of the editor(s), publisher(s), or Association.