Orthodontics includes a variety of terms and phrases you might not be familiar with. We explain these terms so that you can go through your orthodontic treatment with confidence. We're also always here to answer questions. Just book an appointment or call our office and we'll be happy to assist you.
Anterior Teeth: This includes the six front teeth for both your upper and lower jaw.
Appliance: Any device that moves or holds teeth in place can be an appliance. That means that both braces and retainers are considered orthodontic devices.
Arch: All teeth on your upper or lower jaw make up the arch. So you have an upper arch and a lower arch.
Archwire: An archwire is what connects the brackets on your braces. It helps to guide and straighten your teeth.
Band with bracket: Are metal bands most often cemented to your back teeth.
Braces: Orthodontic appliances that remain on your teeth for the duration of treatment to straighten teeth.
Brackets: These small pieces of metal or ceramic are affixed to each tooth on your upper and lower arch. They hold the wire that will move and align your teeth.
Brushing: Home dental care is important whether you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment or not. Brushing is an essential aspect of home dental care to remove food debris, bacteria and plaque.
Buccal: It’s the term for the outer part of the tooth. This is the area of the tooth that touches your cheek.
Cephalometric Radiograph: This X-ray provides insights into a child’s growth and development. It provides an image of the side of the head and face.
Chain: A chain holds the archwire in place on brackets during braces treatments.
Class I Malocclusion: This is a classification for an openbite, anterior or posterior crossbite or overcrowding. It designates that your molars are aligned correctly.
Class II Malocclusion: This is the formal classification of an overbite. In this case, the top teeth are further forward than the lower teeth.
Class III Malocclusion: This is the formal classification of an underbite. In this case, the lower teeth are further forward than the upper teeth.
Closed Bite: When your top teeth completely cover your bottom teeth when you close your jaw, this is known as a deep overbite.
Congenitally Missing Teeth: This is a condition that can happen if teeth don't develop or erupt. The condition is due to genetic factors.
Crossbite: When biting down, the upper back teeth bite either outside or inside the lower back teeth. Another form of crossbite is when the lower front teeth are in front of the upper front teeth when biting down.
De-banding: This is when a dentist removes the orthodontic bands from a patient’s teeth.
De-bonding: This is when a dentist removes the affixed orthodontic brackets from a patient’s teeth.
Diagnostic Records: The records can include both medical and dental history, X-rays, bite molds and photographs. These documents all aid in planning orthodontic treatment.
Digital Radiograph: These are digital teeth X-rays stored, viewed or shared on a computer.
Elastics: A dentist can use elastic rubber bands to move a tooth or group of teeth. These bands put pressure on a tooth to make it align how the dentist wants.
Eruption: This is the process by which the teeth break through the gums in adolescence.
Fixed Orthodontic Appliances: These are devices that are attached to the teeth. A patient cannot remove this type of orthodontic device.
Flossing: Part of healthy oral care is flossing. It helps remove debris from between the teeth and the gumline.
Functional Appliances: Use a patient’s natural muscle movements to align teeth. These muscle movements can include swallowing, speaking or eating. The movement these appliances provide is gentle.
Gingiva: Describes the soft tissue and gums that surround your teeth.
Headgear: This is a removable orthodontic device. It includes a brace as well as an external archwire. The device helps to promote tooth alignment and can modify a child’s growth.
Impressions: These are molds that an orthodontist makes of your teeth. It shows the dentist an exact replica so he or she can understand how your teeth come together.
Interceptive Treatment: This treatment takes place when children have some adult teeth but haven’t lost all their baby teeth yet. Treating children at this earlier stage can help prevent further orthodontic treatment when they are older.
Invisalign®: This is a removable dental tray that is clear. Patients can take them out while eating and drinking or during special occasions. An orthodontist must evaluate whether you are a good candidate for this orthodontic treatment option.
Ligating Modules: This is a ring that secures your braces’ archwire to the bracket.
Ligation: The process for attaching the archwire to braces brackets.
Lingual Side: It’s the term for the inner part of the tooth. This is the area of the tooth that is near your tongue.
Malocclusion: Explains teeth that do not fit together well. It comes from a Latin word that literally means “bad bite.”
Mandible: Your bottom jaw.
Maxilla: Your top jaw.
Mouthguard: Is made of plastic or rubber and is designed to protect your teeth while playing sports.
Open Bite: This is a type of malocclusion where the top and bottom teeth do not meet. It can be anterior or posterior.
Orthodontics: A dentistry branch that focuses on preventing, diagnosing and correcting bite problems and jaw irregularities.
Orthodontist: A dentist who has attended two or three extra years of education after graduating dental school to study orthodontics. This dentist can treat bite problems or jaw irregularities.
Palatal Expander: This device can be fixed or removable. It sits in the palate to increase space on the top or bottom arch.
Panoramic Radiograph: An external X-ray displaying your teeth and jaws.
Plaque: This is a mixture of food particles, bacteria and saliva. It can cause cavities and gum disease if left in the mouth.
Posterior Teeth: Back teeth on both the upper and lower jaw.
Removable Appliance: This is an orthodontic device that the patient can remove when they want to. To be effective, patients should wear them for the duration their dentist prescribes.
Separators: Helps to create space between teeth. These are wire or elastic rings that separate the teeth.
Space Maintainer: This fixed appliance helps hold a tooth’s space. It can be used for adult teeth or for baby teeth that are lost too early.
Wax: Using wax can help mitigate pain or discomfort from braces. It’s an at-home remedy that your dentist will likely provide at your appointments.
Wires: These help move your teeth into place when undergoing braces treatment.
"I have been a patient of Pascack Dental Arts for ten years. Having not just routine care but caps and four implants for which I am today happy, being able to eliminate the need of a denture. My experience with Pascack Dental Arts has been excellent!"
"A little over three years ago, my older daughter Carolyn, had a bicycle accident. One of her permanent front teeth was actually knocked out. We called the office and they told us to come in immediately. It was about 6 p.m. Everyone was concerned and helpful. Dr.Guller reinserted her tooth. Needless to say, we were very frequent visitors to this office. Everyone knew us and always asked how Carolyn was doing. With everyone’s long-term help, Carolyn’s teeth look great!
Our entire family comes to Pascack Dental Arts. It’s a great place for complete dental care."
At Pascack Dental Arts, we are dedicated to providing your family with reliable dental services that prioritize your health and satisfaction. We believe that high-quality care addresses your dental needs as well as your lifestyle, financial concerns, and emotional needs.