1476 Post Rd. • Fairfield, CT 06824
493 Westport Avenue • Norwalk, CT 06851
Cass D. Burrell, D.M.D. • (203) 292-9595
Matthew Rhee, D.M.D.

Glossary

Your Fairfield and Norwalk Orthodontists Explain Commonly Used Terms

First Impressions Orthodontics is a leading, family-focused orthodontics practice with two convenient locations in Fairfield & Norwalk, CT. Using the most advanced, modern practices in orthodontic medicine, our team offers high quality orthodontics to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for each patient. We provide individualized, compassionate care to every patient we serve. We are proud of our relaxing and inviting environment that makes our patients feel right at home. Our financing is top-notch and hassle-free, making orthodontic care accessible and affordable for the whole family.

Archwire

A metal wire that is attached to the brackets and used to move the teeth into the desired position.

Band

A circular strip of metal (usually stainless steel) that is cemented to a tooth. The band is used for anchorage and strength.

Bracket

An orthodontic attachment that is bonded to a tooth for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Brackets are typically made of stainless steel, ceramic or plastic.

Ceramic brackets

Commonly referred to as “clear brackets”, these crystalline brackets are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal brackets as they are tooth-shaded.

Crowding

Misalignment of teeth caused by a lack of space.

Debanding

The process of removing cemented orthodontic bands from teeth.

Elastics (rubber bands)

Small elastics or rubber bands which use gentle, continuous force to move teeth in the prescribed direction. These elastics are available in many colors allowing patients to personalizing their treatment.

Gingiva

Soft tissue that surrounds the teeth also known as the gums.

Headgear

A generic term used to describe a fixed or removable appliance worn for growth modification, tooth movement and anchorage.

Herbst appliance

A fixed mandibular repositioning appliance attached to teeth that moves the lower jaw (mandible) forward to correct overbites and overjet and to improve facial profile.

Imaging

The process of acquiring representations of structures of the mouth in either two or three dimensions. Orthodontists use imaging technology to diagnose and treat orthodontic problems.

Lingual

Of or pertaining to the tongue. A term commonly used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue. For example, the lingual side of a tooth is the backside of the tooth or the side of the tooth facing the tongue.

Lingual appliances

Orthodontic appliances which are fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth.

Maxillary

Of or pertaining to the upper jaw ( the two bones forming the upper jaw are called the maxilla bones). May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.

Mandibular

Of or pertaining to the lower jaw (the lower jawbone is called the mandible).

Orthodontist

A dental specialist who has successfully completed an advanced post-doctoral course accredited by the American Dental Association consisting of at least two academic years in the special area of orthodontics.

Orthognathic surgery

Corrective jaw surgery to treat and correct abnormalities of the facial bone structure, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Overbite

Vertical overlap of the front teeth.

Radiograph

A permanent image, typically on film that is produced by ionizing radiation. Sometimes called an X-ray after the most common source of image-producing radiation.

Retainer

A fixed or removable orthodontic appliance used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.

Retention

The passive treatment period that follows active orthodontic treatment during which time retaining appliances may be used to hold teeth in their new positions.

Straight wire appliance

A variation of the edgewise appliance in which brackets are angulated to minimize multiple archwire bends. Brackets and molar tubes have specific orientation in three planes of space.

Schedule an Appointment

If you'd like to schedule an appointment with our Fairfield & Norwalk orthodontics practice, please complete and submit the 'Request an Appointment' form. One of our friendly team members will then contact you to set up an appointment time.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to call us at (203) 292-9595 as we are always happy to speak with you. Alternatively, you can reach us via email at info@fairfieldorthodontist.com.