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GLOSSARY

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.

bruxism
Teeth grinding, typically during sleep. Bruxism may cause abnormal tooth wear and pain in the jaw joints.

cephalometric radiograph
A side view x-ray of the head.

ceramic brackets
Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

chain
A series of stretchable, elastic o-rings joined together and placed around each bracket to hold the archwire in place and move teeth.

class I malocclusion
Teeth are crowded together, spaced apart; an overbite, openbite, a posterior crossbite or an anterior crossbite.

class II malocclusion
The upper front teeth protrude or the lower teeth and/or jaw are positioned back in relation to the upper teeth and/or jaw.

class III malocclusion
The lower front teeth protrude or the lower teeth and/or jaw are positioned ahead in relation to the upper teeth and/or jaw.

closed bite/deep bite
The upper front teeth excessively overlap the bottom front teeth. This is also known as a deep overbite.

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.

fiberotomy
A surgical procedure performed to sever fibers of attachment around the tooth. This procedure can decrease the possibility of relapse following orthodontic treatment.

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.

mouthguard
A removable appliance utilized to protect the teeth and mouth from injury during sport activities. Mouthguards are particularly important for orthodontic patients.

nightguard
A removable appliance worn at night designed to reduce the damage of teeth clenching or grinding during sleep.

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.

panoramic radiograph
An x-ray displaying all the teeth and both jaws on one film.

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.

wax
Used during orthodontic treatment. Wax can be placed on the brackets or archwires to prevent them from irritating the cheeks or lips.

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