Airway – The passage that allows air to flow from the mouth and nose into the lungs.
Alveolar Bone – The bone that holds the roots of the teeth in place.
Alveolar Mucosa – The thin tissue that covers the inside of the mouth, except for the roof of the mouth and the areas around the teeth.
Angulation – The angle at which a tooth is positioned along its long axis.
Ankylosis – When a primary tooth becomes stuck or fused to the surrounding bone.
Anterior – Referring to the front or forward-facing side.
Apnic Episode – A temporary blockage or obstruction of the airway during sleep; a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Appliances – Devices used in orthodontics to help move and position the teeth.
Archwire – A wire that connects the bands and brackets to form a single orthodontic appliance.
Bandery – The process of attaching orthodontic brackets and other attachments to the teeth using a glue-like material.
Band Cement – A special type of glue used to secure orthodontic bands and other appliances in place.
Banding – The procedure of fitting and cementing a metal band around a tooth.
Bicuspid – One of the eight teeth located in the adult dentition, usually smaller than molars and with one or more roots.
Bihelix – An intraoral appliance with two loops used to expand the size of the dental arch, often used on the lower jaw.
Bonding – The process of attaching orthodontic brackets and other attachments to the teeth using a special adhesive.
Braces – Orthodontic appliances made up of bands and brackets connected by an archwire, used to correct the alignment of teeth.
Bracket – An orthodontic attachment that is bonded or banded to a tooth to provide a grip for moving the tooth.
Bruxism – The habit of grinding or clenching the teeth, often during sleep, which can lead to tooth wear.
Buccal – Referring to the tooth surface facing the cheeks or lips.
Canine – Also known as a cuspid, one of the four teeth located at the corners of the mouth, characterized by their longer length.
CareCredit – A financing option that allows patients to make monthly payments over a longer period of time, up to 7 years, for orthodontic treatment.
Caries – Tooth decay.
Cement – A type of dental adhesive used to secure orthodontic bands and other appliances.
Class I Dental – The correct horizontal alignment of the upper and lower teeth when they come together.
Class I Skeletal – The balanced horizontal relationship between the upper and lower jaw bones.
Class II Dental – The upper teeth positioned too far forward or the lower teeth positioned too far back horizontally.
Class II Skeletal – The upper jaw positioned too far forward or the lower jaw positioned too far back horizontally.
Class III Dental – The upper teeth positioned too far back or the lower teeth positioned too far forward horizontally.
Class III Skeletal – The upper jawbone positioned too far back or the lower jawbone positioned too far forward horizontally.
Clear Braces – Brackets made from materials such as synthetic sapphire that are transparent and do not stain.
Clear Retainer – See Retainer. A removable retainer made of clear plastic material.
Clenching – The habit of tightly squeezing the upper and lower teeth together. The teeth should be slightly apart when relaxed.
Crossbite – A misalignment where the upper teeth fit behind the lower teeth instead of in front, either in the front or back of the mouth.
Crowding – Occurs when there is not enough space in the dental arches to accommodate all the teeth, resulting in overlapping or misaligned teeth.
Cuspid – One of the four teeth located at the corners of the mouth, known for its long length. Also referred to as a canine.
Decalcification – The formation of white spots on the tooth enamel, often seen around orthodontic brackets or bands and at the gum line.
Deciduous Dentition – Refers to the set of baby teeth present in the mouth.
Deep Bite – When the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth.
Dental – Relating to the teeth.
Dental Arch – The curved shape formed by the arrangement of teeth and the supporting bone.
Dental Bite – See Occlusion.
Dental Midline – The imaginary line that separates the upper front teeth or the lower front teeth.
Dentition – Referring to a person’s set of teeth.
Dentofacial – Pertaining to both the teeth and the face.
Dentofacial Imbalance – An abnormality in the size, shape, or function of the teeth and facial structures, which can include malocclusion, skeletal and soft tissue deformities, and muscular dysfunctions.
Dentofacial Orthopedics – A term used interchangeably with orthodontics, which involves the guidance, correction, and management of the teeth and facial structures.
Diastema – A gap or space between two teeth, commonly seen between the two front teeth.
Distal – Referring to the side of a tooth that is closer to the centerline of the mouth.
Dysfunction – Impaired or abnormal function caused by injury or disease.
Dysplasia – An abnormality in the development of a tissue or organ.
Edge to Edge – When the tips of the upper front teeth meet the tips of the lower front teeth directly, without any overlap.
Energize – See Energy Tie.
Energy Tie – A small elastic ring or chain used to connect an archwire to a bracket or band, providing additional force to move the teeth.
Eruption – The process of teeth moving out of the supporting bone and into their proper position in the dental arch. Primary eruption occurs in childhood, while secondary eruption continues throughout life to compensate for wear or loss of teeth.
Exfoliation – The natural shedding or loss of a baby tooth to allow the permanent tooth to take its place.
Expansion Retainer – An orthodontic appliance designed to widen the dental arches and create more space for the teeth.
Extraction – The removal of a primary or permanent tooth.
Facial Imbalance – When the major bones of the face have grown in an uneven or disproportionate manner, resulting in facial asymmetry.
Facial Midline – An imaginary vertical line that divides the face into left and right halves, used to assess facial symmetry.
Finance Company – External companies that offer financing options for orthodontic treatment, allowing patients to make affordable monthly payments beyond the estimated treatment duration.
Frenectomy – The surgical removal of a frenum, a small fold of tissue that attaches the lips or tongue to the gums.
Frenum – A thin strip of tissue that connects the lips or tongue to the gums.
Frontal – Pertaining to the front or anterior area.
Gingiva – The gum tissue surrounding the teeth.
Gingival Display – The amount of gum tissue that is visible above the upper front teeth when smiling.
Gingivitis – Inflammation of the gums, characterized by redness, swelling, and tenderness.
Growth Observation – The monitoring of growth and development by an orthodontist before initiating orthodontic treatment or between treatment phases.
Gummy Smile – A condition where an excessive amount of gum tissue is visible above the upper teeth when smiling.
Gums – Referring to the gingiva, the soft tissue that surrounds the teeth.
Hard Palate – The bony structure that forms the roof of the mouth.
Hawley Retainer – See Retainer. A removable retainer made of stainless steel and acrylic materials, used to maintain the position of teeth after orthodontic treatment.
Headgear – A term used to describe an extraoral appliance worn outside the mouth to move teeth or influence jaw growth.
Herbst Appliance – An active orthodontic appliance used to correct overbite and overjet issues by promoting lower jaw growth and alignment.
Impaction – The condition where a tooth fails to fully erupt or emerge from the gums due to obstruction by another tooth, bone, or soft tissue.
Impression – A dental procedure where a mold or copy of the teeth is made using a flexible material, often used to create study models.
Incisal – Relating to the cutting edge of the front teeth.
Incisor – One of the eight front teeth (four upper and four lower) responsible for cutting or incising food.
Initial Eruption – The initial movement of a tooth from the supporting bone during childhood to its position in the dental arch. Secondary eruption continues throughout life to compensate for wear and potential tooth loss.
Intraoral Orthotic – A retainer-like appliance used for conservative treatment of certain jaw problems, designed to be worn inside the mouth.
Invisalign – A treatment method that involves the use of a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth into the desired position, providing an alternative to traditional braces.
Jaw Clicking/Popping – An indication of a mechanical issue with the jaw joint function, often characterized by a clicking or popping sound. It may or may not be accompanied by pain and can be associated with conditions like osteoarthritis.
Jaw Crepitus – A condition where the jaw joint produces a grinding or grating sound during movement. It can be either painful or painless and is usually caused by disc perforation or osteoarthritis.
Kiddie Program – A preventive program focused on cavity prevention, early detection, and avoidance of orthodontic problems in children.
Labial – Referring to the tooth surface facing outward, towards the lip.
Lateral – Pertaining to the side.
Lingual – Relating to the tooth surface facing inward, towards the tongue.
Lingual Arch – An orthodontic appliance consisting of a small wire that fits behind the lower teeth and is attached to back teeth on both sides, used to maintain the position of teeth and prevent them from shifting.
Lingual Braces – Brackets attached to the inner surface of the teeth, hidden from view, providing maximum aesthetic appeal.
Malocclusion – An improper bite or misalignment of the upper and lower teeth when they come together.
Mandible – The lower jaw bone, the only movable bone in the skull.
Maxilla – The upper jaw bone, which includes the base for the dental arch, midface region, and cheekbones.
Medial – Toward the midline, the imaginary line dividing the body or structure into left and right halves.
Mesial – Referring to the side of a tooth that is closest to the midline of the mouth.
Metal Braces – Brackets made from surgical-grade stainless steel, commonly used in traditional orthodontic treatment.
Midline – The imaginary line dividing the dental arch into two halves, either vertically (upper or lower teeth) or horizontally (left or right side).
Mixed Dentition – The stage when a child has a combination of primary (baby) teeth and permanent teeth in the mouth, typically occurring between the ages of 5 and 13.
Molar – One of the twelve multi-rooted teeth in the complete dentition, responsible for chewing and maintaining facial vertical proportion.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – A potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by recurring episodes of complete airway blockage during sleep, leading to breathing difficulties and potential health risks.
Occlusal – Relating to the biting or chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Occlusion – The relationship between the upper and lower teeth when they come into contact during biting and chewing. Improper bite or misalignment is known as malocclusion.
Open Bite – A condition where the upper and lower teeth do not overlap properly when the mouth is closed, creating a gap or space between them.
Orthodontic – Relating to the field of dentistry that focuses on correcting and aligning teeth and jaws for optimal oral health and aesthetics.
Orthodontic Fee Plan – A financial option that allows patients to pay for orthodontic treatment over an extended period, typically up to five years.
Orthodontics – The branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, including the movement and alignment of teeth.
Orthopedic – Referring to bone growth and development.
Osseous – Pertaining to bone tissue.
Osteoarthritis – An inflammatory condition that affects the bones and surrounding tissues, often causing joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Osteotomy – A surgical procedure involving the cutting or reshaping of bone.
Overbite – The vertical overlap of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed.
Overjet – The horizontal distance between the upper front teeth and the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed.
Palatal – Relating to the palate, the roof of the mouth.
Palatal Constriction – A condition characterized by a narrow palate.
Panel Provider – An orthodontic office that collaborates with an insurance company to offer services to its members at a reduced rate.
PatientFinance.Com – A financial option that enables patients to make lower monthly payments for orthodontic treatment over a period of up to five years.
Periodontics – The branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions affecting the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth.
Periodontists – Dental specialists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases and conditions.
Permanent Dentition – The set of adult teeth that replace the primary (baby) teeth and remain in the mouth for the rest of a person’s life.
Phase I – The initial phase of a two-phase orthodontic treatment, which typically involves addressing jaw growth and development issues in younger patients.
Phase II – The second phase of a two-phase orthodontic treatment, which involves the alignment and straightening of teeth using braces or other orthodontic appliances.
Plaque – A sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and can lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, and other oral health problems.
Posterior – Referring to the back or rear aspect.
Premolar – Also known as a bicuspid, one of the eight teeth located between the canines and molars in the adult dentition.
Prevention – Taking measures to intercept or avoid dental problems before they worsen or develop into more severe conditions.
Primary Dentition – The set of primary (baby) teeth that are gradually replaced by permanent teeth.
Profile – The side view of the face, including the alignment and proportions of the facial features.
Prophylaxis/Fluoride – The dental procedure involving teeth cleaning, polishing, and the application of fluoride to strengthen the teeth and protect against decay.
Protrude – To extend or stick out too far forward.
Quad Helix – An intraoral appliance with four loops used to expand the size of the dental arch, primarily used on the upper arch.
Reliance Financial – A financial option that allows patients to make lower monthly payments for orthodontic treatment over an extended period of up to five years.
Resting Phase – The period between Phase I and Phase II of resting, during which the orthodontist monitors the patient’s growth and development before proceeding with further treatment.
Retainer – Any orthodontic device, either removable or fixed, used to maintain the corrected positions of the teeth after orthodontic treatment.
Retention – The passive phase of orthodontic treatment that follows active correction, during which retaining appliances are used to maintain the new tooth positions.
Rotation – The condition where a tooth is misaligned and twisted along its long axis.
Secondary Eruption – The ongoing movement of teeth out of the supporting bone throughout life, which compensates for wear and may be accelerated by the loss of opposing teeth.
Self Esteem – An individual’s internal sense of worth and value, which can be influenced by one’s self-image and appearance.
Skeletal – Relating to the bones of the body.
Skeletal Imbalance – An imbalance in the growth and development of the facial bones, leading to disharmony in size, form, or function.
Sleep Appliance – A removable intraoral appliance, similar to a retainer, worn during sleep to improve airway function and breathing, commonly used as a non-surgical treatment for sleep-related breathing disorders.
Soft Palate – The soft tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth, behind the hard palate.
Splint – A term used to describe an intraoral orthotic or appliance that helps stabilize the jaw joint and improve its function.
Study Model – A replica of the teeth, usually made from plaster or a dental stone material, used for diagnostic and treatment planning purposes.
Surgical Orthodontics – Orthodontic treatment combined with orthognathic surgery to correct significant jaw imbalances resulting from abnormal growth.
Temporomandibular Joints – The jaw joints that connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull, allowing for movement during chewing and speaking.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction – A group of symptoms and signs associated with dysfunction or disorders of the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), often involving pain, clicking, or limited movement of the jaw.
Thumb Sucking – The habit of placing the thumb in the mouth for comfort or self-soothing purposes.
Tinnitus – The perception of ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears, often unrelated to external sounds.
Tongue Crib – An orthodontic appliance designed to discourage thumb sucking and correct tongue positioning habits by retraining the tongue’s posture.
Tongue Thrust – A habitual tongue position that can affect tooth alignment and facial growth, characterized by the tongue either pushing against the teeth or protruding forward during swallowing or at rest.
Transpalatal Arch – An orthodontic appliance consisting of a small wire that spans across the palate and is attached to molars on each side, used to widen the dental arch.
Two Phase Treatment – An orthodontic treatment approach that divides the treatment process into two distinct phases, addressing specific problems at different stages of dental development, often used for children and adolescents.
Underbite – A dental condition where the lower front teeth protrude beyond the upper front teeth, creating an abnormal horizontal overlap.