Key Terms for Our Orthodontic Patients

Adjustment

An evaluation of your orthodontic progress where the wires in your metal braces are adjusted to keep your treatment on track.

Appliance

A device that’s attached to your teeth by an orthodontist to move your teeth or change the shape of your jaw.

Archwire

An especially alloyed wire that attaches to your braces, applying the necessary force to guide your teeth to the proper alignment.

Band

Sometimes, we place metal bands on your back molars and use them to anchor an orthodontic appliance.

Banding

The process of cementing orthodontic bands to your teeth.

Bonding

The process of attaching brackets to your teeth with special adhesive.

Braces

The most common and traditional oral appliance, consisting of individual brackets that are bonded to your teeth and connected to wires that gradually shift your teeth into proper alignment.

Bracket

Brackets are small modules made of metal or ceramic that attach to each of your teeth. They serve as guides to move your teeth and hold the archwire in place.

Cephalometric X-Ray

This x-ray tells us if your teeth are properly aligned and growing in correctly.

Chain

We use a stretchable plastic chain to hold your brackets and archwire together.

Consultation

Every treatment begins with a consultation, a meeting with your orthodontist where the two of you get to know each other and develop a treatment plan. Dr. Grussmark offers free consultations for all our patients.

Debonding

The process of removing orthodontic brackets that have been cemented to your teeth.

Elastics

Elastics are small rubber bands that help provide the force needed to shift your teeth into proper alignment and achieve an ideal bite. To ensure optimal results, wear your elastics as much as possible every day.

Herbst Appliance

The Herbst appliance is used to correct skeletal imbalances where your lower jaw is behind your upper jaw. This corrective technology combines restriction of upper jaw growth with the enhancement of lower jaw growth to achieve the desired change in your skeletal pattern. You’ll typically need to wear your Herbst appliance for 12 to 15 months to achieve this.

Interceptive Care

This term describes orthodontic treatment for children between the ages of six and ten. The objective is to identify any potential issues at an early age and begin to address them before they develop into larger issues that require more extensive treatment.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® is an innovative orthodontic treatment that uses clear aligners and advanced technology to straighten your teeth. These aligners are comfortable to wear, virtually invisible, and they work up to 2X faster than metal braces or other aligners.

Mouthguard

A mouthguard is an important device that athletes wear to protect themselves from injuries while they’re engaged in heavy physical activities such as contact sports.

Palatal Expander

The upper jaw is made up of two bones connected by a suture in the middle. A palatal expander can be used to widen the bones in your upper bones. After your desired expansion is achieved, the appliance must stay in place for 4 to 6 months so the bones in your upper jaw can grow back together and form a new suture.

Panoramic X-Ray

This is an x-ray taken by a machine that rotates around your head, providing us with a high-quality image of the entire oral cavity.

Photographs

We’ll take facial and intraoral photographs throughout your treatment for the sake of comparison.

Retainer

This appliance is typically worn after your braces are removed, though it can also be used to fix minor orthodontic issues without the help of braces. The retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth and holds them in the correct position while your jawbone adjusts to the new position of your teeth. You’ll start out wearing your retainer 24 hours a day, though eventually, you’ll only need to wear it overnight.

Records

Orthodontic records are a very important part of determining your treatment plan. These records include cephalometric and panoramic x-rays, digital photos, study models, and more.

Separators

A plastic or metal part that the orthodontist uses to create space between your teeth for bands.

Wax Bite

This procedure involves the patient biting down on a sheet of wax to leave marks that help us measure how well your teeth come together. This allows your orthodontist to design your treatment plan in relation to how the upper and lower models of your teeth fit together.

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