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A BC D E F G H IJ K L M NO P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
Amalgam - Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
Anesthesia - Medications used to relieve pain.
Anterior teeth - Front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
Appliance - anything your orthodontist attaches to your teeth which moves your teeth or changes the shape of your jaw.
Arch - The upper or lower jaw.
Archwire - the metal wire that acts as a track to guide your teeth along as they move. It is changed periodically throughout treatment as your teeth move into their new positions. back to top

B
Baby bottle tooth decay - Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth.
Band - A metal ring that is cemented to your tooth, going completely around it. Bands provide a way to attach brackets to your teeth.
Bicuspids -Back teeth used for chewing.
Bitewings - X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
Bond - the seal created by orthodontic cement that holds your appliances in place.
Bonding - the process of attaching brackets to your teeth using special orthodontic cement.
Bracket - A metal or ceramic part cemented (“bonded”) to your tooth that holds your archwire in place.
Bridge - A fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
Bruxism - Teeth grinding.
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C
Calculus - A sticky substance (also called tartar) that has hardened.
Canal - The narrow chamber inside the tooth's root.
Canines - Also called cuspids.
Canker sore - One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
Caries - Another term for decay, which causes cavities.
Cephalmoetic X-Ray - An x-ray of your head which shows the relative positions and growth of the face, jaws, and teeth.
Cold sore - Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
Coll Spring - A spring that fits between your brackets and over your archwire to open space between your teeth.
Composite filling - Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resin - A tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
Consultation - A meeting with your orthodontist to discuss a treatment plan.
Contouring - The process of reshaping teeth.
Crown - An artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
Cusps - The pointed parts on top of the back teeth's chewing surface.
Cuspids - Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge.
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D
Debanding - The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from your teeth.
Debonding - The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from your teeth.
Dentin - The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
Denture - A removable set of teeth.
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E
Elastic (Rubber Band) - A small rubber band that is hooked between different points on your appliance to provide pressure to move your teeth to their new position.
Elastic Tie - The tiny rubber band that fits around your bracket to hold the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.
Endodontics - A form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth's root or nerve.
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F
Fluoride - A naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth's enamel.
Fluorosis - A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.
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G
Gingiva - Another word for gum tissue.
Gingivitis - A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum disease - An infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.
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H
Headgear - Headgear uses an external wire apparatus known as a facebow to gently guide the growth of your face and jaw by moving your teeth into proper position. The force is applied to the facebow by a spring-loaded neck strap or head strap. The straps have a safety release that disconnects if the facebow is pulled or snagged.
Headgear Tube - A round, hollow attachment on your back bands. The inner bow of your headgear fits into it.
Hook - a welded or removable arm to which elastics are attached.
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I
Impacted teeth - A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
Implant - A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
Impressions - The process of making a model of your teeth by biting into a soft material that hardnes into a mold of your teeth. Your orthodontist will use these impressions to prepare your treatment plan.
Incisor - Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
Inlay - An artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.
Invisalign - An alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear custom-molded aligners. Invisalign can correct some, but not all, orthodontic problems.
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L
Laminate veneer - A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
Laser - Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A single wavelength beam of highly concentrated energy.
Ligature Ligation - The process of attaching an archwire to the brackets of your teeth.
Lip Bumper - A lip bumper is an archwire attached to a molded piece of plastic. The lip bumper holds back the molars on your lower jaw to provide more space for your other teeth.
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M
Malocclusion - Bad bite relationship.
Mandible - The lower jaw.
Maxilla - The upper jaw.
Molar - Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.
Mouthguard - a device that protects your mouth from injury when you participate in sports or rigorous activities.
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N
Neuromuscular Dentistry - are more than the aches and pains felt in around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.

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O
Onlay - A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
Orthodontics - A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
Overdenture - A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.
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P
Palate - Roof of the mouth.
Palatal Expander - a device that makes your upper jaw wider.
Panoramic X-ray - An x-ray that rotates around your head to take pictures of your teeth, jaw, and other facial areas.
Partial denture - A removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
Pedodontics - A field of dentistry that deals with children's teeth.
Perio pocket - An opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontal disease - Infection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
Periodontist - A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Permanent teeth - The teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
Plaque - A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teeth - The bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
Primary teeth - A person's first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
Prophylaxis - The act of cleaning the teeth.
Prosthodontics - The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
Pulp - The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.
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R
Receding gum - A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth's enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin filling - An artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
Retainer - an appliance that is worn after your braces are removed, the retainer attaches to your upper and/or lower teeth to hold them in place. Some retainers are removable, while others are bonded to the tongue-side of several teeth.
Root canal - A procedure in which a tooth's nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
Root planing - Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.
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S
Sealant - A synthetic material placed on the tooth's surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.
Separator or Spacer - A small rubber ring that creates space between your teeth before the bands are attached.
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T
TMJ - Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
Tarter - A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth's surface.
Tie Wire - A fine wire that is twisted around your bracket to hold the archwire in place.
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V
Veneer - A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.
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W
Wax - Wax is used to stop your braces from irritiating your lips. Whitening - A process that employs special bleaching agents for restoring the color of teeth.
Wisdom tooth - Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence.
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