We don’t want to bore you with all the technical mumbo-jumbo, but just in case you’re curious, here are a few terms we throw around the office:
Archwire – A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.
Band – A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth through welding or soldering. The band is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.
Bracket – An orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth (either by bonding or banding) for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Brackets can be fabricated from metal, ceramic, or plastic.
Ceramic Brackets – Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade, or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.
Crowding – Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.
Debanding – The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.
Debonding – The removal of the brackets and the adhesive used to attach them to your teeth.
Elastics (Rubber Bands) – Used to move teeth in prescribed directions. If needed, instructions will be given as to how to wear them and how often. The patient’s cooperation is extremely important, as it is up to him or her to take them on and off.
Gingiva – The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.
Headgear – Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement, and anchorage. We do not take this approach frequently in our office.
Imaging – The process of acquiring representations of structures in either two or three dimensions.
Lingual – Of or pertaining to the tongue. A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.
Lingual Appliances – Orthodontic appliances fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth.
Maxillary – Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances, or facial structures.
Orthodontist – That’s us! A dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.
Orthognathic Surgery – Surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, usually accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.
Overbite – Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth
Radiograph – Another term for an X-ray, performed digitally in our office.
Retainer – Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment like braces.
Retention– The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.
Straight Wire Appliance – A variation of the edgewise appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends. Brackets and molar tubes have specific orientation in three planes of space.