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Glossary

Glossary orthodonticsarchwire

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

orthodontic band

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 metal or ceramic.

ceramic bracket

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are tooth contoured.

crowding

Dental mal-alignment 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) and to idealize the bite.

gingiva

The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.

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.

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 a Graduate Level program in Orthodontics for at least 3 more years after completion of dental school.

orthognathic surgery

Jaw surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

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 to show structures under the skin, which cannot be viewed any other way. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

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.