Glossary

Your Orthodontic Specialist in Jasper, TN

At McDaniel Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing high quality orthodontic care in a fun, friendly office environment. Our doctors and our highly trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to get to know every patient individually, crafting specialized treatment plans to perfectly fit their unique orthodontic needs. We believe patient education is a vital part of achieving complete oral health, and we know that sometimes all the different words for orthodontic techniques and appliances can get confusing. To help demystify the process, we've created a comprehensive glossary of words and terms you might hear in the office so you can always understand what's happening in your treatment.

archwire
An archwire is the thin wire that runs through the brackets of braces. It's fixed to the crowns of two or more teeth, and it's a critical part in facilitating tooth movement.

band
In an orthodontic context, a band refers to the thin metal ring that anchors orthodontic appliances to teeth. The band is molded to the unique shape of the patient's tooth, and attachments are soldered onto the band.

bracket
Brackets form the bulk of braces - they're the attachments you see cemented to the front of teeth. They can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic, and they serve as the connection between the archwire and the teeth.

ceramic brackets
Ceramic brackets are a unique sub-class of brackets that's made to match the color of teeth, making them more aesthetically appealing than traditional metal brackets.

crowding
Crowding is a common malocclusion (bad bite) in which the teeth don't have sufficient space to erupt from the gums.

debanding
Debanding is the process of removing bands that have been cemented on to teeth.

elastics (rubber bands)
Elastics attach the archwire to individual brackets, helping facilitate tooth movement. They come in a variety of colors, so you can customize yours to give yourself your own unique smile!

gingiva
This is a term for the fibrous tissues immediately surrounding the teeth that helps anchor them to the periodontal ligament.

headgear
This term applies to any extraoral traction (attached around the back or side of the head) appliance - these are useful for growth modification or as an anchor point for tooth movement.

Herbst or MARA appliance
This is an orthodontic appliance designed specially for overbite or other jaw placement problems.

imaging
Imaging is the 21st century equivalent of impressions, allowing us to make detailed two or three-dimensional models of the bite.

lingual
This is a blanket term for anything relating to the tongue or the tongue-side of the teeth.

lingual appliances
As you might have guessed, these are appliances fixed to the lingual surface (tongue-side) of the teeth.

maxillary
This refers to anything related to the upper jaw.

orthodontist
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who goes on to complete an additional two to three years of specialized schooling, ensuring they are masters of the techniques and procedures of tooth movement.

orthognathic surgery
Surgery alters tooth and bone relationships and is mostly used in severe cases, often alongside other orthodontic treatment.

overbite
Overbite occurs when the upper front teeth extend too far past the lower front teeth.

radiograph
Also sometimes referred to as an X-ray, a radiograph is a slightly different visual test that lets us see the bone structure of a patient's smile.

retainer
This term applies to any appliance designed to maintain tooth position after treatment.

retention
Retention treatment begins after regular treatment ends, helping to ensure that the teeth stay in their new positions for a lifetime.

straight wire appliance
This is a special appliance that angles brackets to minimize archwire bends.

>Contact Your Jasper, TN Orthodontist

Have more questions about our practice or services? We're here to help! Feel free to reach out to us at our contact page or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Chattanooga, Cleveland, or Jasper, TN office. We can't wait to hear from you!