What Language Does The Orthodontist Speak?

If you have spoken to a Sturbridge orthodontist about braces recently but found yourself confused by all of the jargon, there’s no need to worry. Here’s a list of the most common orthodontic terms and their definitions so that you’ll be able to speak the same language as your orthodontist on your next visit.

  • Brackets: These metal or ceramic fixtures are bonded directly to the teeth or connected to orthodontic bands to hold the archwire in place.
  • Metal bands: These metal rings wrap around the teeth, usually the molars, and are cemented in place to anchor your braces.
  • Archwires: Wires made from specialized metals like titanium are connected to the brackets and create specific amounts of force in order to move the teeth into alignment.
  • Elastic hooks: Small hooks that extend from the edge of the brackets are used to hold elastic bands in place.
  • Elastic bands: These small rubber bands help to move the teeth towards their final positions.
  • Ligatures: These tiny elastics or pieces of twisted wire are used to hold the archwire and each bracket together.
  • Power chain: This series of elastic rings are joined together to create more force in order to pull the teeth together.
  • O Rings: This is another name for the small elastic ligatures that hold the archwire into the slot on each of the brackets.

Will you need these items to get them straight and the healthy smile of your dreams? The orthodontist may use some or all of these devices to customize your orthodontic appliance. Some of them are used for specific conditions such as crossbites, overbites, and impacted teeth. Others are used for short periods of time, such as palatal expanders and springs.

Don’t let the language barrier keep you in the dark about today’s most common orthodontic terms. This handy list should be useful, but the orthodontist is your ultimate resource. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact a Sturbridge orthodontist today to learn more.