Glossary

Active Treatment

The stage of orthodontic treatment when teeth are being moved and/or jaws aligned.

Aligners

Clear removable appliances that are used to straighten teeth.

Anterior

Front

Arch

Upper or lower jaw.

Attachments

The tooth-colored “bumps” placed on teeth during clear aligner treatment. They help move the teeth while a patient wears aligners. They are removed once treatment is complete.

Bite

How top and bottom teeth come together. Ideally, each tooth meets its opposite tooth in a way that promotes functions such as biting, chewing and speaking. A bad bite is called a malocclusion. The goal of orthodontic treatment is to create an individualized healthy bite (ability to bite, chew, speak). When teeth and jaws are in proper positions, it creates a pleasing appearance.

Braces

A word commonly used to describe a fixed orthodontic appliance, usually comprised of brackets, bands and wires.

Brushing

Brushing the teeth is part of an individual’s daily home dental care. Patients with braces should follow the orthodontist’s instruction on how often to brush.

Buccal

A term orthodontists use to describe the cheek side of the back teeth in both jaws.

Cephalometric Radiograph

A side view x-ray of the head.

Class I Malocclusion

A malocclusion in which the back molars meet properly, but the front teeth may appear to be crowded together, spaced apart, there my be an overbite, an openbite, a posterior (back) crossbite or an anterior (front) crossbite.

Class III Malocclusion

A malocclusion where the lower teeth and/or jaw is positioned ahead relative to the upper teeth and/or jaw.

Comprehensive Treatment

Complete orthodontic treatment performed to correct a malocclusion.

Congenitally Missing Teeth

A genetic occurrence in which permanent teeth do not develop.

Crown

The part of the tooth that is visible above the gums.
A tooth restoration placed by a dentist. A crown covers a tooth that may have had severe decay, was badly discolored, or was broken or otherwise misshapen. The crown covers the entire tooth and functions as a replacement for the natural tooth. Crowns can last for many years, but they are not permanent.

Advanced periodontitis

The most severe form of gum (periodontal) disease, once known as pyorrhea. It is a chronic infection of the gums caused by accumulation of plaque under the gum line. The plaque contains bacteria that produce toxins that destroy the soft tissue and bone that hold teeth in place. Pockets (spaces between the gum and the teeth) appear and deepen. Gums recede, and bone dissolves. Teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Comprehensive or Phase II treatment occurs when a patient has majority permanent teeth (typically ages 12 and older). The goal of Phase II is to position all the permanent teeth as well as maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with traditional braces or Invisalign.

American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)

The AAO is a professional association of educationally qualified orthodontic specialists who create healthy, beautiful smiles for their patients. The AAO only admits orthodontists as members. Orthodontists first graduate from dental school and then complete an additional two to three years of education in the orthodontic specialty at accredited orthodontic residency programs. Selecting an AAO member for orthodontic care is your assurance that the doctor is an orthodontist.

Appliances

Any device, attached to the teeth or removable, designed to move the teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold the teeth in their finished positions after braces or aligners are removed.

Archwire

The metal wire that is attached to the brackets and used to move the teeth.

Band

A metal ring, usually on a back tooth, that is cemented to a tooth for strength and anchorage.

Bracket

The small metal, ceramic, or plastic attachment bonded to each tooth with a tooth-colored adhesive. The bracket has a slot that the orthodontic wire fits into.

Bridge

A replacement for a missing natural tooth/teeth that fills the opening between adjacent teeth. Most often, the existing adjacent teeth receive crowns and a prosthetic (false) tooth is attached to the crowns. This restores function, provides a good appearance, and maintains the shape of the face. Bridges do not last forever, eventually this will require replacement.

Bruxism

Grinding of the teeth, usually during sleep. Bruxism can cause abnormal tooth wear and may lead to pain in the jaw joints, facial and/or neck muscles and difficulty opening and closing the mouth.

Buccal Tube

A small metal part of the bracket welded to the cheek side of the molar band. The tube may hold an archwire, lip bumper, headgear facebow or other type of appliance an orthodontist may use to move the teeth.

Chain (or Power Chain)

A stretchable series of elastic o-rings connected together and placed around each bracket to hold the archwire in place and close the spaces between teeth.

Class II Malocclusion

A malocclusion where the upper front teeth are protruding, or the lower teeth and/or jaw is positioned back relative to the upper teeth and/or jaw.

Closed Coil Spring

Metal spring that is closed to help maintain space between two teeth. This spring goes through the wire. If there are two teeth with brackets and one in the middle of them without a bracket or the baby tooth fell out Dr. Moody will use this to maintain the space.

Cone Beam CT/CBCT

A 3D x-ray.

Crossbite

Upper back teeth are in crossbite if they erupt and contact inside or outside of the lower back teeth. Lower front teeth are in crossbite if they erupt in front of the upper front teeth. A crossbite can be a single tooth or groups of teeth.

Get Started With Us

An in-person consult will give you an opportunity to discuss your treatment goals with Dr. Moody, as well as tour our state-of-the-art office. At your consult, Dr. Moody will review your medical and dental histories and examine your teeth. He will then recommend a treatment type, explain the treatment plan, and provide an estimated treatment length. During the visit we will also review all financial info, insurance coverages, and provide flexible payment plans. If desired, most patients can start treatment the same day.

11 + 12 =

Get Started With Us

An in-person consult will give you an opportunity to discuss your treatment goals with Dr. Moody, as well as tour our state-of-the-art office. At your consult, Dr. Moody will review your medical and dental histories and examine your teeth. He will then recommend a treatment type, explain the treatment plan, and provide an estimated treatment length. During the visit we will also review all financial info, insurance coverages, and provide flexible payment plans. If desired, most patients can start treatment the same day.

3 + 3 =