Dr. Daniel M. Eves, D.M.D, M.S.
Specialists in Orthodontics for Children and Adults

Check out Tollgate Orthodontics on Yelp

500 Toll Gate Road
Warwick, RI 02886

20 Clinton Avenue
Jamestown, RI 02835

Orthodontic Glossary of Terms

At Tollgate Orthodontics, we create a partnership with our patients so that together we can accomplish your goal of achieving a straight, healthy smile. We want you to fully understand every aspect of your treatment, so we have provided this list of commonly used orthodontic terms. If you have any questions about your care or any of the medical phrases we use during your appointment, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Jamestown and Warwick orthodontics team.

Common Orthodontic Terminology

Here are some of the phrases you may become familiar with during your partnership with Tollgate Orthodontics.

  • Archwire
    An archwire is fixed to the crowns of teeth and helps guide them in the right direction.

  • Band
    A band is a thin, stainless steel ring that secures orthodontic attachments to the teeth. It is adapted to specific teeth, then cemented into place.

  • Bracket
    A bracket is a metal, ceramic or plastic attachment bonded or banded to a tooth in order to engage the archwire.

  • Ceramic Brackets
    Some brackets are more aesthetically pleasing than others. Ceramic brackets are compiled of crystalline, clear synthetic sapphire, tooth-shade, or alumina and are often considered more attractive than metal brackets.

  • Crowding
    Crowding occurs when there is not enough space in the mouth for the teeth.

  • Debanding
    Debanding is when we remove the cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.

  • Debonding
    Debonding occurs when we remove the brackets and adhesives from the teeth.

  • Elastics
    Elastics are commonly referred to as rubber bands, and are utilized to move the teeth in certain directions.

  • Gingiva
    Gingiva is the tissue surrounding your teeth.

  • Headgear
    Headgear is the generic term used for attachments that go around the backside of the head and assist with tooth movement, growth modification, and anchorage.

  • Imaging
    Imaging is representations of a structure in in two or three dimensional viewing.

  • Lingual
    Lingual refers to the tongue and describes directions and surfaces toward the tongue.

  • Lingual Appliances
    Lingual appliances are fixed to the lingual (tongue) side of the teeth.

  • Maxillary
    Maxillary refers to the upper portion of the jaw and may describe dental restorations, teeth, appliances, and facial structures.

  • Orthodontist
    An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has an advanced post-doctoral degree accredited from the American Dental Association.

  • Orthognathic Surgery
    Orthognathic surgery is a surgical procedure that alters the relationship of the teeth and perhaps the surrounding bones.

  • Overbite
    An overbite occurs when there is a vertical overlapping from the upper teeth to the lower teeth.

  • Radiograph
    A radiograph is a permanent image, usually on film, that utilizes radiation. It is most commonly referred to as an x-ray.

  • Retainer
    A retainer (fixed or removable) is used to hold the teeth securely in place once your braces have been removed.

  • Retention
    Retention is the treatment period following your active care. Many patients wear retainers during this phase.

  • Straight Wire Appliance
    The straight wire appliance is a variation of the edgewise appliance, but the brackets are angled to minimize the bends in the archwire.

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions about orthodontic terminology, or you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the team at Tollgate Orthodontics today. Speak with a friendly, knowledgeable member of our team by calling (401) 739-3900.