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.
Gingiva: The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.
Headgear: Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.
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.
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.