Glossary

archwire

A wire engaged in orthodontic brackets, capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

band

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band 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 by bonding. Brackets can be fabricated from metal or ceramics.

ceramic brackets

Tooth-shade or clear brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

crowding

Inadequate space for the teeth.

elastics

Small rubber bands used to move teeth in a different direction than braces alone can accomplish.

headgear

Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

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 beyond dental school.

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.

retainer

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.