The following are the most commonly used terms in orthodontics.
(If you have any questions about orthodontics or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.)
"AcceleDent" System: An FDA approved soft-pulse activator, which in only 20 minutes a day will accelerate orthodontic tooth movement up to 50% faster.
Accelerated Orthodontics (formerly known as Wilckodontics): A method of preparing the dental pathway for the teeth to move through to their final correct positions in from 5 to 8 months instead of 18 to 24 months.
Anterior Teeth: The upper and lower six front teeth on each arch.
Appliance: Any orthodontic device which moves or retains teeth. Appliances may also alter the positioning of the jaw.
Arch: The entire upper or lower jaw.
Archwire: The metal wire that connects orthodontic brackets. This wire guides the teeth into their new alignment.
Band with bracket: Metal bands (rings) that are generally cemented around the back teeth.
Braces: Fixed orthodontic appliances designed to align teeth.
Brackets: The tiny metal, ceramic or clear brackets that are affixed to each individual tooth on the arch.
Brushing: This is a crucial part of home dental care. Orthodontists recommend those wearing braces to brush after every meal and snack to eliminate bacteria and plaque.
Buccal: The outer (cheek) side of posterior teeth in the lower and upper arches.
Cephalometric Radiograph: A side X-ray of the face and head used to show growth and development.
Chain: Elastics connected together and placed around the brackets to stabilize the archwire and gently close spaces.
Class I Malocclusion: Molars are correctly aligned, but there is an anterior/posterior crossbite, an openbite or overcrowding on the arches.
Class II Malocclusion: Also known as an overbite. The upper front teeth are positioned further forward than the lower teeth.
Class III Malocclusion: Also known as an underbite. The lower front teeth are positioned further forward than the upper front teeth.
Closed Bite: The upper front teeth completely overlap the bottom teeth causing a deep overbite.
Congenitally Missing Teeth: Some permanent teeth fail to develop and erupt due to genetic factors.
Crossbite: A malocclusion in which the upper back teeth bite inside or outside the lower back teeth, or the lower front teeth bite in front of the upper front teeth.
"Damon" Bracket Systems: a low-friction, self-ligating orthodontic bracket that can accelerate treatment with less associated discomfort.
"Dawson Diagnostic Wizard": by Gurudental Corp., a sophisticated digital/photo diagnostic system which has the capability of analyzing 21 different parameters of your smile and facial features at one time. This is a new analytical method aiding in the development of an accurate, efficient treatment plan resulting in faster and more predicable orthodontic results. This valuable and detailed information is able to be relayed to your restorative dentist for his interactive orthodontic/general dental review with the orthodontist and other dental or medical specialists.
De-banding: The removal of orthodontic bands from the teeth.
De-bonding: The removal of affixed orthodontic brackets from the teeth.
Diagnostic Records: Records used to assess, plan and implement treatments. These records usually include medical and dental history, radiographs, panoramic radiographs, bite molds and intraoral/extraoral photographs.
Digital X-Rays: Digital X-rays of the teeth which result in higher resolution with a significant reduction in radiation, as well as being e-mail compatible, while simplifying communication with other health professionals and/or insurance companies.
Digital Photographs: Digital Photographs of the teeth and face which result in higher resolution with a significant reduction in radiation, as well as being e-mail compatible, while simplifying communication with other health professionals and/or insurance companies.
Diminutive Metal and Ceramic Braces (Brackets): Much smaller and less visible than former braces (brackets), and when coupled with long acting heat activated arch wires are able to achieve more rapid tooth movement, while minimizing discomfort and reducing the "brace-face" appearance.
Elastics: Some braces may require that elastic rubber bands be attached to exert additional pressure to an individual tooth or a group of teeth.
Eruption: The way in which teeth surface through the gums inside the mouth.
Fixed Orthodontic Appliances: Orthodontic appliances which are affixed to the teeth by the orthodontist and cannot be removed by the patient.
Flossing: An essential part of home care that removes debris and plaque from above and below the gumline.
Functional Appliances: Orthodontic appliances that use the muscle movement created by swallowing, eating and speaking to gently move and align the teeth and jaws.
Gingiva: The gums and soft tissue around the teeth.
Headgear: A removable appliance comprised of a brace and external archwire. This device modifies growth and promotes tooth movement.
Heat Activated Arch Wires: specially manufactured (alloyed) arch wires that react to the warmth of the mouth allowing comfortable and gentle pressures to align teeth more rapidly than was possible by earlier, less sophisticated arch wires.
Impressions: Teeth impressions are taken to allow the orthodontist to see exactly how a patient’s teeth fit together.
"Insignia" Systems: A computer generated 3-D treatment plan that is manufactured directly into the brackets and arch wires providing braces
explicitly to your own prescription resulting in increased accuracy with a reduction in treatment time.
Interceptive Treatment: Treatment performed on children who have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. Early treatment can help reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment in the future.
Invisalign®: A brace free, clear tooth aligners which are nearly undetectable and are able to align teeth, as efficiently as braces with less visibility or sensitivity.
Ligating Modules: An elastic donut-shaped ring which helps secure the archwire to the bracket.
Ligation: Securing the archwire to the brackets.
Lingual Side: The side of the teeth (in both arches) that is closest to the tongue.
Malocclusion: Literally means “bad bite” in Latin, and refers to teeth that do not fit together correctly.
Mandible: The lower jaw.
Maxilla: The upper jaw.
Mouthguard: A removable plastic or rubber device that protects teeth and braces from sporting injuries.
Open Bite: Upper and lower teeth fail to make contact with each other. This malocclusion is generally classified as anterior or posterior.
Orthodontics: The unique branch of dentistry concerned with diagnosing, preventing and correcting malocclusions and jaw irregularities.
Orthodontist: A dental specialist who prevents, diagnoses and treats jaw irregularities and malocclusions. Orthodontists must complete two or three additional years of college after dental school and complete a residency program.
Palatal Expander: A removable or fixed device designed to expand the palate in order create room on either the upper or lower arch.
Panoramic Radiograph: An extraoral (external) X-ray that shows the teeth and jaws.
Periodontally Accelerated Orthodontics: A method of preparing the dental pathway for the teeth to move through to their final correct position in from 4 to 6 months instead of 18 to 24 months.
Plaque: The sticky film of saliva, food particles and bacteria that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay.
Posterior Teeth: Back teeth.
"Propel" Orthodontics: A new auxiliary device which has simplified Accelerated Orthodontics by enhancing both accuracy and performance of the accelerated tooth movement activity. This aids in shortening the duration of orthodontics treatment from four to six times faster.
Removable Appliance: An orthodontic brace or device that can be removed at will by the patient. It must be worn for the designated amount of time each day to be effective.
Separators: A wire loop or elastic ring placed between the teeth to create room for the subsequent placement of bands or orthodontic appliance.
Space Maintainer: A fixed appliance used to hold space for permanent (adult) tooth. This is usually used when a baby tooth has been lost earlier than anticipated.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TAD's): Use of miniature titanium anchorage screws to assist in moving teeth to designated positions without the use of orthognathic surgical procedures, thereby speeding up complex orthodontic treatment and at the same time avoiding bone surgery .
Wax: Orthodontic relief wax is a home care remedy used to alleviate irritations caused by braces.
Wilckodontics (Scientifically known as Periodontally Accelerated Orthodontics): A method of preparing the dental pathway for the teeth to move through to their final correct positions in from 5 to 8 months instead of 18 to 24 months.
Wires: Attached to the brackets to gently move the teeth into proper alignment.