Ortho Dictionary

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding:
The process of fitting and cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Cephalometric X-ray:
An X-ray of your head that shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.

Consultation:
A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.

Debanding:
The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding:
The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Final Records:
Photos, impressions for study models, and/or X-rays of your face and teeth taken on the day your braces are removed.

Impressions:
A model of your mouth made by biting into a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.

Invisalign®:
An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.

Ligation:
The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets on your teeth.

Observation:
An important way that the doctor monitors the growth and development of the teeth and jaws through a series of regular visits.

Panoramic X-ray:
An X-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.

Phase I:
Early interceptive treatment (i.e. expansion, active retainer or partial braces) that is done before all of the permanent teeth have erupted, and often occurs between the ages of six and ten.

Phase II:
Stage of treatment in which all the permanent teeth are positioned to maximize their appearance and function, best accomplished with full braces or Invisalign, and usually lasting between 12-18 months.

Records:
Complete diagnostic records typically include a medical history, a dental and orthodontic history, clinical examination, plaster study models of the teeth, photographs of the patient's face and teeth, and several X-rays.

Screening:
Consists of an exam, sometimes an X-ray if needed, and a question-and-answer session with the patient and parents.

Parts of Braces

Appliance:
Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth that moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

Archwire:
The metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move to new positions.

Band:
A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.

Bond:
The seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.

Bracket:
A metal or ceramic part cemented ("bonded") to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.

Coil Spring:
A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.

Elastic (Rubber Band):
A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to a new position.

Elastic Tie:
The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Forsus:
Composed of a spring coil rod, the forsus is used while a patient is currently wearing braces, ans is is used in order to help move the upper molars back while moving the lower arch forward.

Hook:
A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Ligature:
A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

Lip Bumper:
A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.

Mouthguard:
A device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.

Opalseal:
A protective sealant that helps to counter the buildup of plaque on your teeth to prevent decay while you are wearing braces.

Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE)
A device that makes your upper jaw wider.

Retainer:
An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.

Separator or Spacer:
A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.

Tie Wire:
A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.

Wax:
Wax is used to stop your braces from irritating your lips.

X-bow:
A crossbow appliance used to help excessive overjet (when the upper front teeth protrude too far in front of the lower teeth).