Edgewise Appliances (Fixed Appliances):  the standard type of braces (bands & brackets)

Functional Appliance:  a type of removable appliance used to correct disproportional (unequal) growth between the upper and lower jaws.  Examples:  Bionator, Twin Block, Activator, Frankel

Habit Control Appliance: an appliance designed to stop thumb or finger sucking habits 


Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE):  a palatal expansion appliance.  An appliance that widens the upper jaw.


Sagittal Appliance: a removable appliance that looks similar to a retainer, but has two, front to back expansion screws.  A midline expansion screw may also be present.


Swartz Appliance: a removable appliance that looks similar to a retainer and a sagittal, but only has one or two midline (left to right) expansion screws.



Crossbite:  the upper teeth are inside of the lower teeth.  This is the opposite of what it should be.  Crossbites can be anterior (involving front teeth) or posterior (involving back teeth).

              Anterior Crossbite                                                Posterior Crossbite


Crowding: the degree of tooth crookedness; rated mild, moderate or severe.


Mild Crowding                        Moderate Crowding


Severe Crowding

Crowns:  1) the top portion of any tooth.  The part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth.  2) An artificial replacement of the top portion of a tooth.

The two teeth at the top of the photo have crowns (artificial replacements of the top portion of the teeth)

Curve of Spee:  the front to back curve of the teeth.

Decay:  cavities, also called tooth decay.  


Dental Midline:  where the central incisors come together.  There is an upper and a lower midline.

Deep Bite:  excessive vertical overlap of the front teeth.


 Directions in dentistry:

  Anterior:  referring to the front

  Posterior:  referring to the back

  Mesial:  the tooth surface facing towards the midline

  Distal:  the tooth surface facing away from the midline

  Facial or Buccal:  the tooth surface facing toward the cheek or lips

  Lingual:  the tooth surface facing toward the tongue

:  rubber bands worn by the patient to shift the upper teeth relative to the lower teeth.  Elastics improve the way the teeth fit together.

    Class I Elastics:  an horizontal elastic running from the front teeth to the back teeth in one arch (either upper

     or lower).


    Class II Elastics:  an elastic running from the upper front teeth to the lower back teeth.


    Class III Elastics:  an elastic running from the lower front teeth to the upper back teeth.


Midline Elastic:  an elastic running from the lower front teeth on one side to the upper front teeth on the opposite side.  This elastic is used to correct the dental midlines.


Finishing Elastics:  elastics that run between the upper and lower teeth in various patterns that are designed to perfect the occlusion (the bite) toward the end of orthodontic treatment.


Elastics are made in different sizes and strengths.  The size and the strength are printed on the elastic package.  Elastic packages have pictures of animals, colors, counties or other objects printed on them.  This picture helps the patient remember what size to wear.



 Elastic Chain (Power Chain): an chain used for closing spaces that looks like o-rings attached together.


Elastic Thread (Power Thread): thread that looks like gray or clear spaghetti.  It is used to move teeth in a given direction.


Extraction:  removal of teeth.  Extraction orthodontic treatment involves extraction of permanent teeth so that the teeth can be straighten and the bite can be corrected.


Before Orthodontic Treatment                                         After Orthodontic Treatment with Extraction of Permanent Teeth

:  the tissue attachment between the upper or lower central incisors.


Frenectomy:  a procedure for reducing the size of the tissue attachment between the central incisors.  This is usually done to prevent recurrence of a space between the upper central incisors.


     This is the same patient as in the above photo after a frenectomy

Fusion:  two teeth that are joined together.


     The patient's left upper central incisor demonstrates fusion.

:  the gum tissue around the teeth.

Gingival hypertrophy:  over-growth of the gum tissue as a result of poor oral hygiene.


     Gingival hypertrophy is present on the lower front teeth

Gingival recession:  the gum tissue recedes away from the tooth.


    Gingival recession is present on the patient's lower left central incisor

:  a type of removable appliance that attaches to the bands on the upper first molars.  It is used to correct disproportional growth between the upper and lower jaws and a poor bite.  There are several types of headgear.

     cervical headgear                           high pull headgear                    protraction headgear


Herbst:  an appliance that corrects undergrowth of the lower jaw.



Impacted Tooth:  a tooth that is unable to erupt normally. 


     The upper canines are impacted.

Impression: an imprint of the teeth.



 Tie: a looped metal tie to which an elastic is attached.


Lip Bumper:  an appliance that attaches to mandibular first molar band.  The purpose of a lip bumper is to hold the patient's cheeks and lips away from the teeth so that the tongue can put pressure on the teeth and move the teeth outward, thus gaining more room to align the teeth.


This is a sample of a portion of one training lesson.


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