The Ortho Dictionary

UNSURE
OF CERTAIN
TERMS?

Orthodontic | Definitions

During orthodontic treatment, you will be exposed to new orthodontic based words which will be used by Dr Bill and Dr Patty and their team. Here’s a few definitions to get you started and don’t forget to ask questions!

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 (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. 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. 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.

Elastics (rubber bands)

Used to move teeth in prescribed direction (commonly connected to molar band and upper ball hook). Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

Herbst appliance

Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems and more.

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.

Occlusion

The normal position of the teeth when the jaws are closed

Orthodontist

Orthodontists have an additional university degree focussing on straightening teeth and correcting bites to ensure long-term dental health and lasting smiles. Orthodontists are the only specialists who can accurately give an informed opinion on the best options for teeth and deal with any difficult issues and unexpected outcomes to help people achieve the smile they desire.

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.

Radiograph

A permanent image, typically on film, produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

Overbite

Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.

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 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.

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