Glossary

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Archwire

A wire designed to cause or guide tooth movement that is placed into orthodontic attachments, which are affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth.

Band (orthodontic)

A thin ring of metal (typically stainless steel) that secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth.

Bracket

An attachment that is secured to a tooth for the purpose of engaging an archwire. A bracket can be made from high grade stainless steel or a ceramic or plastic material.

Ceramic brackets

Attachments made of a ceramic material that are secured to the teeth by bonding or banding. These brackets are tooth-shaded or clear to make them less visible than conventional metal brackets.

Crowding

A condition in which there is not enough space available for the teeth.

Debanding

‚ÄčThe procedure used to remove orthodontic bands that are cemented to the teeth. 

Elastics (rubber bands)

Small rubber bands designed to help move teeth into the desired position. These tiny bands are typically connected to molar bands and upper ball hooks. They come in various colors, giving patients the opportunity to personalize their treatment. 

Gingiva

The tissue that surrounds the teeth.

Headgear

A general term used to describe an extraoral or ‘outside the mouth’ appliance used to influence growth, move teeth and to provide anchorage. Headgear is attached around the backside of the head.

Herbst appliance

A fixed or removable orthodontic device used to treat overbites and more.

Imaging

The process of capturing representations of structures in the mouth in 2D or 3D.

Lingual

A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.

Lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances (braces) which are placed on the backside or tongue-side of the teeth.

Maxillary

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

Orthodontist

A dental specialist who has successfully completed an advanced post-doctoral course that is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA), consisting of at least two academic years in the specialized area of orthodontics.

Orthognathic surgery

Surgery done to change the relationships of teeth and/or the supporting bone. This surgery is typically done at the same time orthodontic treatment is being carried out.

Overbite

An orthodontic condition in which the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth.

Radiograph

A radiograph or X-ray as it’s also called, is a common tool used by an orthodontist to diagnose and treatment orthodontic problems.

Retainer

An orthodontic appliance that is fixed or removable, used to hold the teeth in the final positions once the patient is finished wearing braces or aligners.

Retention

The passive treatment following the active phase of treatment in which a retainer is worn to hold the teeth in their new positions.

Straight wire appliance

An appliance that is 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.

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.

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.

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.

Contact Your Marin County Orthodontist Today! 

The friendly team at Haney Orthodontics is always happy to speak with you! If you have any questions about orthodontic treatment, our practice or any concerns, please feel free to contact us. If you are interested in improving your smile with orthodontic treatment, please request an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you achieve your best possible smile!