Ortho Dictionary

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» Parts of Braces
» Orthodontic Procedures

Parts of Braces

Appliance:

Anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.

Archwire:

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

Band:

A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth and goes completely around your tooth. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth and are only used on the side or back teeth.

Bond:

The seal created by tooth colored orthodontic adhesive that holds your braces in place.

Bracket:

A metal or ceramic brace 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 brackets to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.

Elastic Tie:

The rubber band that fits around your brackets to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Headgear:

Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.

Headgear Tube:

A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.

Hook:

A welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.

Impressions:

An alginate impression is used in dentistry to retrieve an exact replica of the patient’s teeth, gingiva, and surrounding tissues in the mouth.

Ligature:

A thin wire that holds your archwire into your bracket.

Lip Bumper:

A lip bumper is an archwire coated with 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.

Palatal Expander:

A device that makes the upper jaw wider.

Retainer:

An appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer fits over your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable and 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 or cheeks.

Orthodontic Procedures

Banding:

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

Bonding:

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special tooth colored orthodontic adhesive.

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 the treatment plan. Our office offers this appointment at no charge.

Debanding:

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

Debonding:

The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.

Impressions:

The process of making a model of your teeth by placing a soft material that hardens into a mold of your teeth.

Invisalign®:

An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct many orthodontic problems, but may not be appropriate for some cases.

Ligation:

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

Panoramic X-ray:

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

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