(Common Dental Terms)

Glossary of Dental Clinical

Malocclusion – This means a “bad bite” such as crowded teeth, spaced teeth, protrusion of the upper or the lower teeth, crossbite, etc.

Impressions or molds – An imprint of your teeth made by placing a tray of soft Jello-like material in your mouth. The doctor then pours plaster into the impression to make a stone model of your teeth.

Crossbite – A bite problem where the upper front teeth may lie behind the lower front teeth. This condition can also occur in the back of the mouth.

Palate Widening Appliance – A brace placed in the roof of your mouth to expand the upper dental arch.

Bracket – The small attachments applied to your teeth. The brackets are the parts of your braces to which the doctor or assistant attaches the archwire.

Archwire – This is the part of your braces which actually move your teeth. The archwire is attached to the brackets by small elastic donuts or ligature tie wires.

Headgear – Often called a “Night Brace”. The headgear is used to correct a protrusion of the upper or lower jaw. Headgear can also be used to hold the teeth against the pull of rubber bands used to correct a bite problem.

Retainer – A plastic appliance usually with a singular wire across your front teeth. This holds the teeth in their new corrected positions until the bone and tissue readapt.

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