Orthodontic Terminology

Archwire

A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

Bands (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments on back molar teeth.  The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, 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. 

Crowding

Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.

Debonding

The removal of braces.

Elastics (rubber bands)

Used to move teeth by connecting to molar band and ball hook in prescribed direction.  Can be removed for eating and brushing. You will have your choice of colors or clear.

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.

Maxillary

Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

Mandibular

Of or pertaining to the lower jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

Orthodontist

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, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.

Overjet

The horizontal distance between upper and lower teeth.

Retainer

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

Retention

The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances will be used.