Glossary

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

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 aesthetically 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.

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 Canadian 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.