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Glossary

Orthodontic Disorders Terms
Crossbite

Crossbites can occur in the front and/or the sides of the mouth.  One or more upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower teeth.  This can occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth.  Early correction of crossbite is recommended.

crossbite

Openbite

Openbite is an insufficient vertical overlap of the teeth.  It is caused by oral habits such as tongue thrust, finger sucking, or when the jaws do not grow evenly.  Timing of treatment is critical to the overall success of the therapy.openbite

Overbite

Overbite occurs when the upper front teeth protrude over the lower front teeth.  Generally there is no contact between the upper and lower front teeth.   Often you cannot see the lower incisors.  Overbite is due to a disproportionate amount of eruption of front teeth, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth, and a front to back discrepancy in the growth of the upper or lower jaw (Class II Relationship).  Overbite is also known as a deep bite.

PD10-024_Overbite

Overjet

Class II Overjet

Overjet is also known as protrusion.  It is where the lower teeth are too far behind the upper front teeth.  This can be caused by an improper alignment of the molars (Class II Relationship); a skeletal imbalance of the upper and lower jaw; flared upper incisors; missing lower teeth; or a combination of all the above.  In addition, oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking or tongue thrusting can exacerbate the condition.

overjet

Underbite

The lower teeth protrude past the front teeth.  An underbite is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or a combination of the two (Class III Relationship).   Underbite can also be caused by flared upper incisors, missing lower teeth or a combination of all the above.  Early correction of underbite is recommended.

PD10-025_Underbite

General Terms
archwire

A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

band (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth.  The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.

bracket

An orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth (either by bonding or banding) for the purpose of engaging an archwire.  Brackets can be fabricated from metal, ceramic or plastic.

ceramic brackets

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are esthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.

crowding

Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.

debanding

The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

elastics (rubber bands)

Used to move teeth in prescribed direction (commonly connected to molar band and upper ball hook).  Found in numerous colors for better appearance.

gingiva

The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.

headgear

Generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

Herbst or MARA appliance

Fixed or removable appliance designed commonly for overbite problems and more.

imaging

The process of acquiring representations of structures in either two or three dimensions.

lingual

Of or pertaining to the tongue.  A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.

lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth.

maxillary

Of or pertaining to the upper jaw.  May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

orthodontist

A dental specialist who has completed an advanced post-doctoral course, accredited by the American Dental Association, of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.

orthognathic surgery

Surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, usually accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.

overbite

Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.

radiograph

A permanent image, typically on film, produced by ionizing radiation.  Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

retainer

Any orthodontic appliance, fixed or removable, used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

retention

The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.

straight wire appliance

A variation of the edgewise appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends.  Brackets and molar tubes have specific orientation in three planes of space.