Glossary of Terms

  • Orthodontic Class II

    Appliances

    Anything the orthodontist attaches to your teeth to move your teeth or to change the shape of your jaw.

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    Banding

    The process of cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

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    Bonding

    The process of attaching brackets to your teeth using a special safe adhesive.

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    Cephalomentric X-Ray

    An x-ray of the head that shows if your jaws and teeth are aligned and growing properly.

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    Consultation

    A meeting with your treatment coordinator and your orthodontist where they discuss your treatment plan.

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    Debonding

    The removal of cemented orthodontic brackets.

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    Extractions

    The removal of teeth; most commonly, impacted or problematic wisdom teeth are removed.

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    Impressions

    The first step in making a model of your teeth. You bite into a container filled with a rubber-type material. That material hardens to produce a mold of your teeth.

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    Interproximal Reduction (IPR)

    Interproximal Reduction (IPR) is the removal of small amounts of outer enamel tooth surface between two adjacent teeth. It is a means to acquire additional space to create ideal tooth alignment. Alternative names include: slenderizing, stripping, enamel reduction, and reproximation.

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    Interceptive Treatment

    Orthodontic treatment that is usually done between the ages of 6 and 10. The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to provide orthopedic intervention, so that later orthodontic treatment goes quicker and is less painful.

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    Oral Hygiene

    Effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during braces. Regular visits to the general dentist for examination and cleaning are also essential. The results of inadequate oral hygiene include decalcification (white spots/marks), gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and periodontal disease (inflammation leading to bone loss).

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    Orthodontic Adjustments

    An evaluation of your progress where your wires may be changed to keep your treatment on track and moving forward.

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    Orthodontic Photographs

    Pictures are taken at the beginning and end of treatment. Photos taken upon the completion of treatment show the amazing changes that the orthodontist has achieved in both growth and development of the teeth, jaws and aesthetics of the smile. The orthodontist also uses pictures throughout treatment to monitor changes.

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    Orthodontic Records

    These records, which include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays, digital photos and study models, help your orthodontist determine what treatment needs to be done.

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    Panoramic X-Ray

    An x-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head to give your orthodontist a picture of your teeth, jaws and other important information.

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    Separators

    Separators are tiny rubber bands or springs that your orthodontist places between your back teeth. These separators prepare your mouth for braces by creating a small gap between these teeth. This space allows for the placement of a metal band around your molar, which anchors your braces in your mouth.

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    Surgery

    Orthognathic surgery is surgery performed on the bones of the jaws to change their positions. It may be considered for functional, cosmetic, or health reasons. It is surgery commonly performed on the jaws in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, which straightens the teeth.

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    Two-Phase Treatment

    Two phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and esthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

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    Wax

    A clear wax used to prevent your braces from irritating your lips or cheeks when your braces are first put on, or at other times.

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    Wax Bite

    A procedure to measure how well your teeth come together. You bite a sheet of wax and leave bitemarks in the wax. This helps the orthodontist relate the upper and lower models of your teeth together.