Glossary

Glossary

archwire

The wire placed into the brackets for guiding tooth movement

attachments

Small buttons of white filling material bonded to various teeth at the start of aligner treatment

band

A stainless steel ring cemented to a tooth, used as an alternative method of securing orthodontic brackets or appliances to a tooth

braces

Fixed orthodontic appliances

bracket

A metal or ceramic slot that is glued to a tooth for the purpose of attaching an archwire

ceramic brackets

Clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are less obvious than conventional metal brackets

coil spring

A spring that fits over the archwire between 2 brackets to push teeth apart

crossbite

The upper teeth should bite outside the lower teeth; if this relationship is reversed, this is a crossbite

crowding

Crowding means not enough space; crowding can be corrected by expansion, or by removing teeth.

debanding

The removal of orthodontic appliances.

elastics

Elastics are latex rubber bands used to apply force to teeth, sometimes worn from the upper arch to the lower arch, sometimes in the upper or lower arch only.
The elastics we use have names (eg Chuck, Fred, Dave, Gloria). If you need more elastics, please let us know which ‘name’ you need so that we can send you the correct ones.

gingiva

Gums

hooks

Elastics are placed between hooks on the brackets.

imaging

Taking 2d or 3d photographs or x-rays (radiographs)

lingual/palatal

Surfaces of the teeth facing the tongue/palate

lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth

mandible (mandibular)

lower jaw

maxilla (maxillary)

upper jaw

midline

The upper front teeth should be in the middle of the smile

openbite

Openbite is when the teeth do not meet together, and can be related to tongue function and increased face height.

orthodontist

A dentist who has completed a three year specialist postgraduate course in orthodontics accredited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)

orthognathic surgery

Surgery to alter the relationship between the jaws in conjunction with orthodontic treatment

overbite

The vertical overlap of the teeth

overjet

The horizontal overlap of the teeth

retainer

Fixed or removable retainers hold the teeth in position after orthodontic treatment

retention

The period of passive treatment using retainers

spacing

Spacing may be caused by missing teeth or small teeth

straight wire appliance

A system of orthodontic brackets with built in offsets and angulations

TADs

Temporary Anchorage Devices; these are ‘pins’ which are placed in the palate or in the lower jaw to assist with anchorage during tooth movement

underbite

If the lower jaw is in front of the upper jaw causing a crossbite of the front teeth, some people call this an underbite

protrusion

If the upper front teeth stick out too far, they are at risk of damage