Roeder Orthodontics
Patient Login
22 Medical Park Drive, Suite C
Asheville, North Carolina 28803

Common Orthodontic Definitions

Learning about the intricacies of orthodontic treatment can be daunting, but we have a comprehensive resource of common orthodontic definitions available for you to reference at any time.  We encourage you to ask questions at your office visits if you are curious about what an appliance or procedure is used for in treatment.


An appointment to evaluate your orthodontic progress. At an adjustment appointment, your progress will be evaluated, your wires may be changed, your elastic wear schedule may be revised, and you can ask any questions you may have.


An appliance can be one or more things. What qualifies as an appliance is a component Dr. Roeder attaches to your teeth and which aides in the movement of your teeth or jaw shape.


A metal wire, engaged within brackets on top or bottom teeth. The archwires are affixed to two or more teeth for stability. The shape of the archwire can help guide teeth into optimal position.


A band is a thin metal ring, usually made of stainless steel, which secures orthodontic appliances to a tooth. The band is custom adapted to fit the contours of the tooth, and orthodontic appliances may be welded or soldered to it, and then the band is cemented to the tooth for stability. Also known as Banding.


Using a safe adhesive, bonding is the process of attaching orthodontic brackets to your teeth.


A small metal tube that is welded to the outside face of a molar band. The band has slots to hold archwires in place, lip bumps, facebrows or other appliances to aide in your orthodontic treatment.


Brackets are metal, plastic, or ceramic pieces which are attached to each tooth using an adhesive, or a band. Brackets serve as a physical guide with tooth movement, and also hold the archwire in place. There are a variety of different types of brackets, some of which tend to be smoother, clearer, or have different types of closures to hold the archwire.


Ceramic brackets can be tooth-colored, or crystal clear to aid in visual aesthetics for individuals who wear braces. Ceramic braces typically do not increase or decrease treatment time.


A stretchable plastic, sometimes colorful, chain used to secure archwires into brackets.


An in-person meeting with Dr. Roeder and his team, wherein he discusses treatment options and treatment plans. At this visit, financing or other questions can also be addressed. Roeder Orthodontics offers free consultations to new patients.


An x-ray which captures the entire head, face and jaw. This type of x-ray gives a full view of how your teeth are aligned and the position of secondary teeth and where they are likely to erupt.


Tooth malalignment caused by inadequate space in the jaw for all the teeth.


The process of removing thin metal bands which have been cemented to the teeth in order to hold brackets, buccal tubes, or other appliances in place. The affixed band’s cemented seal is broken, and removed. The tooth is then cleaned for any remaining material left behind.


The process of removing cemented orthodontic brackets from one or more teeth. After the brackets have been removed, the teeth are cleaned for any remaining material left behind.


An Asheville, NC orthodontist who helps children, teens and adults correct aesthetic and functional problems with their teeth and jaw alignment.


Rubber bands of various strength are used during phases of orthodontic treatment. They are connected to a band and a ball hook on a bracket. The elastics use a continuous moderate force to realign the jaw, or move individual teeth into position. Elastics can be clear or available in a variety of colors.


A retainer which is temporarily or permanently attached to teeth and stabilizes the new alignment of the teeth. They usually can’t be seen because they are bonded or affixed to the back side of the teeth and they do not affect speech or interfere with eating.


A spring-like appliance which uses upward and backwards force on the upper molars and simultaneously applying pressure to the lower teeth and encouraging forward jaw movement. It is similar to headgear, and is usually worn for 6-8 months, and adjusted every 6 weeks or more.


The soft pink tissue surrounding teeth.


General term for extraoral traction, attached around the back of the head, and used as an anchor to help to move teeth and shape growth.


An appliance used to correct class 2 skeletal imbalances where the bottom jaw is behind the upper jaw. It can correct overbite and is typically worn between 12 – 15 months.


The technological process of digitally capturing tooth structures in either two or three dimensions.


Impressions can be captured different ways. One way is to use a tray with a compound mixture which hardens quickly creating a mold of your teeth. Impressions can also be captured digitally using a machine, like the iTero Digital Scanner, which Dr. Roeder uses in his office.


Clear plastic aligner appliances used in sets over a specific course of time to gradually align teeth without the use of metal or ceramic brackets and archwires. For mild to moderate issues, Invisalign can be an equitable choice. However, for more severe cases, Invisalign’s efficacy is diminished.


Small circle shaped plastic piece, used to secure the archwire to the bracket.


Dealing with or relating to the tongue. Often used to describe the surface or directions toward the tongue.


Orthodontic appliances which are fixed to the lingual surface of the teeth for comfort or other reasons.


A removable appliance used in Phase 1 treatment and growing children to create and hold space to accommodate future teeth. This helps prevent the need for extraction of teeth later on in life.


Dealing with or relating to the upper jaw. This term may be used in reference to teeth, oral appliances, dental restorations, or facial structures.


A device used to protect your teeth and mouth from damage when you are participating in activities like sports. Patients who are in orthodontic treatment are encouraged to wear mouthguards to protect braces, teeth and surrounding tissues.


A dental specialist who has completed post-doctoral education in orthodontics, spent two years in the specialty field of orthodontics and is accredited by the American Dental Association. Dr. Roeder attended Temple University’s School of Dentistry, and Virginia Commonwealth University for his Orthodontic Certificate.


Surgery which corrects the harmony and balance of the teeth and/or supporting bone structure, and is typically used in tandem with orthodontic therapy.


A vertical overlap of upper teeth beyond lower teeth. Measurements are taken using a perpendicular to the occlusal plane. Overbites can range from mild to severe in both children and adults.


An oral appliance used to widen the upper jaw or palate to make room for future teeth and make the upper and lower teeth fit together better.


A x-ray taken by a rotating machine which is able to capture the whole circumference of your head, jaw, teeth and structure of your face. This type of x-ray provides Dr. Roeder important information regarding the details of how your treatment plan and general expectations for treatment timelines. Dr. Roeder uses digital x-rays to minimize patient’s exposure to ionizing radiation.


The first phase of orthodontic treatment usually warranted for young patients who need additional guidance to establish a foundation for healthy tooth and jaw development prior to their permanent teeth coming in. Phase 1 treatment can address problems before they become bigger problems later on, such as expanding the palate to make room for all the incoming teeth.


The second phase of orthodontic treatment wherein all of the adult teeth have come in, and braces or aligners are used to correct tooth alignment or other orthodontic conditions.


Intraoral, smile, close up, and full face photographs will be taken at the beginning and end of treatment, and during treatment when appropriate.


An appliance which is used after braces are removed to help keep teeth from migrating back to their original position. These retainers can be easily removed, cleaned, and re-inserted at will. Patients may be instructed to wear retainers for 24 hours a day, or only at night, as determined by Dr. Roeder.


The point in time where active orthodontic treatment has passed and retaining devices such as fixed or removable retainers are used to help keep teeth in the aligned position. At Roeder Orthodontics, we offer a free retention program, with visits at 3, 6, and 12 months post-treatment to ensure teeth stay healthy and straight.


A plastic or metal component which Dr. Roeder may use to create space in-between teeth.


An underbite is a dental condition where the lower jaw protrudes up and outward abnormally, partially overlapping with the upper teeth. Cases of underbite can range from mild to severe in both children and adults.


A clear smooth substance used as a barrier to prevent braces, brackets, wires or other oral appliances from rubbing and irritating lips or any other soft tissue in your mouth. Wax is applied over the irritating area, giving the irritation a chance to heal.


A way to measure how well your teeth come together. By biting a sheet of wax, the impressions form a physical picture of how your treatment is affecting your upper and lower teeth and jaw position.

If you have any questions about these common orthodontic terms, or about how Roeder Orthodontics may help you achieve your goals of a healthy and straight smile, contact us today. We offer a free consultation to help patients learn their options before proceeding with treatment.