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  • General Dentists
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  • Endodontists
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Where

Las Vegas Orthodontist

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Las Vegas Orthodontist

Welcome to vegasdentaldirectory.com! You can find most every Las Vegas Orthodontist specialist right here on this page. Although there are many dental practices that offer orthodontic services, this page focuses on dedicated Las Vegas area Orthodontists. You can still find orthodontic services from all providers by using the search tools on this site.

How to use this page.

Map: The map to the left shows the location of the Las Vegas orthodontists listed on this page. When you hover over the map icon, it gives you the information, as well as a direct link to the Orthodontists website.
List: Below is a list of Las Vegas Orthodontic practices with address, phone, and website link.

If you want to find an orthodontist by insurance, doctor name, zip code, or keyword,  please use search bar at the top of the page. Enter your search term in the search bar.

Links to Articles and General Information

List of Las Vegas Orthodondists

NameAddressPhoneWebsite
Alexander Dental Group and Orthodontics3896 N M.L.K. Blvd(702) 614-1792https://www.alexanderdentalgroup.com/
Aloha Orthodontics6592 N Decatur Blvd #160(702) 648-2564https://aloha-orthodontics.com/
Aloha Orthodontics11710 W Charleston Blvd(702) 642-5642https://aloha-orthodontics.com/
Bella Orthodontics560 N Nellis Blvd e2(702) 623-2800https://bellaortho.com/
Canyon Pointe Dental Group and Orthodontics10870 W Charleston Blvd Ste 170(702) 254-6412https://www.canyonpointedentalgroup.com/
Centennial Hills Orthodontics7445 W Azure Dr suite 120(702) 360-3759http://www.centennialhillsortho.com/
Centennial Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics7910 W Tropical Pkwy #140(702) 273-3676https://www.centennialmoderndentistry.com/
Children’s Dental Care & Orthodontics3600 N Buffalo Dr #110(702) 254-8858https://www.tinytooth.com/
Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics4080 N M.L.K. Blvd #101B(702) 903-2127https://childrensedationdentist.com/
Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics701 N. Pecos blvd building M(702) 903-1296https://childrensedationdentist.com/
Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics2480 E Tompkins Ave #102(702) 903-2238https://childrensedationdentist.com/
Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics1820 E Lake Mead Blvd suite G(702) 903-3240https://childrensedationdentist.com/
Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics6415 S Fort Apache Rd Suite 150(702) 710-0801https://childrensedationdentist.com/
Chill Orthodontics9777 Bermuda Rd #105(702) 914-2364
City Dental- Dental Implants and Orthodontics2272 S Nellis Blvd Ste.2(702) 243-2489https://www.citydentallv.com/
Courtesy Dental & Orthodontics7901 W Tropical Pkwy #120(702) 839-5030http://www.courtesydental.com/offices/centennial/
Courtesy Dental & Orthodontics320 N Nellis Blvd #4(702) 453-7200http://www.courtesydental.com/offices/charleston/
Courtesy Dental & Orthodontics2811 N Green Valley Pkwy(702) 434-2219http://www.courtesydental.com/offices/henderson/
Deer Springs Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics640 E Deer Springs Way Ste 180(702) 399-3800https://www.deerspringsmoderndentistry.com/
Diamond Dental Group and Orthodontics4380 Blue Diamond Rd Ste 102(702) 425-4424https://www.bluediamonddentalgroup.com/
Feller Orthodontics2871 N Tenaya Way(702) 341-8668https://www.fellerorthodontics.com/
Floss Dental & Orthodontics6080 S Durango Dr #100(702) 803-1798https://www.flossdentallasvegas.com/
Griffiths & Simister Orthodontics8710 W Charleston Blvd(702) 256-7846https://lasvegasbraces.com/
Griffiths Orthodontics: Simister Douglas K DDS8710 W Charleston Blvd # 150(702) 256-7846https://lasvegasbraces.com/
Griffiths, Simister, Ence & Drowley Orthodontics4240 E Charleston Blvd(702) 452-2267https://lasvegasbraces.com/
Hamilton & Manuele Orthodontics401 N Buffalo Dr Suite 220(702) 243-3300https://www.hamiltonortho.com/
Hansen Orthodontics3600 N Buffalo Dr #110(702) 568-1600https://hansenortho.com/
Hansen Orthodontics6169 S Rainbow Blvd(702) 568-1600https://hansenortho.com/
Image Dental & Orthodontics7545 W Sahara Ave #200(702) 803-1787https://www.imagedentallasvegas.com/
Just For Kids Dentistry & Orthodontics7140 N Durango Dr #110(702) 740-5437https://www.justforkidsdentistrylv.com/
Just for kids dentistry & orthodontics7855 Blue Diamond Rd unit 107(702) 329-9885https://www.justforkidsdentistrylv.com/
Karl Weiss & Associates7310 Smoke Ranch Rd # F(702) 254-7507http://www.courtesydental.com/
Kimodontics Orthodontics8981 W Sahara Ave Suite 210(702) 420-7288https://www.kimodontics.com/
Kimodontics Orthodontics150 E Centennial Pkwy #113(702) 220-7878https://www.kimodontics.com/
Las Vegas Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics7171 W Craig Rd Ste 102(702) 655-0331https://www.lasvegasmoderndentistry.com/
Las Vegas Orthodontics4306 S Eastern Ave(702) 735-4169https://lvosmiles.com/
Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics5765 Centennial Center Blvd #110(702) 878-0764https://leavergardner.com/
Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics6005 S Fort Apache Rd #100(702) 878-0764https://leavergardner.com/
Leaver & Gardner Orthodontics5765 Centennial Center Blvd #110(702) 878-0764https://leavergardner.com/
Mai Orthodontics & Invisalign7300 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy #100(702) 656-7846https://www.maiortho.com/
Mint Dental & Orthodontics375 N Stephanie St #611(702) 803-1825https://mintdentallasvegas.com/
Mountain View Orthodontics1811 S Rainbow Blvd #109(702) 784-0500https://mountainvieworthodonticslasvegas.com/
Mountain West Dental Specialists Pediatric
Dentistry and Family Orthodontics
6970 S Cimarron Rd #100(702) 899-3600https://mountainwestdentalspecialists.com/
My Kid’s Dentist & Orthodontics7171 W Craig Rd #101(702) 655-5435https://www.mkdlasvegas.com/
My Kid’s Dentist & Orthodontics3896 N M.L.K. Blvd(702) 395-5437https://www.mkdalexander.com/
My Kid’s Dentist and Orthodontics6485 N Decatur Blvd Ste 150(702) 848-2382https://www.mkdshadowmountain.com/
North Las Vegas Orthodontics1703 Civic Center Dr suite 5(702) 476-2444https://www.nlvdental.com/
Rainsprings Dental Group and Orthodontics8035 S Rainbow Blvd Ste 102(702) 896-7211https://www.rainspringsdental.com/
Roberson Orthodontics700 E Silverado Ranch Blvd(702) 951-9734
Robert H. Thalgott, DMD, MS, Orthodontics1945 Village Center Cir Suite 110(702) 364-5100https://www.thalgott.com/
Saxe Orthodontics3555 S Town Center Dr #104(702) 541-7070http://www.saxeortho.com/
Seven Hills Orthodontics1350 S Decatur Blvd(702) 870-1350https://www.lvbraces.com/
Shadow Mountain Dental Group and Orthodontics6525 N Decatur Blvd Ste 150(702) 577-1941https://www.shadowmountaindentalgroup.com/
Significance Orthodontics – Las Vegas Orthodontist6018 S Fort Apache Rd(702) 213-7621https://www.significanceorthodontics.com/
Southern Nevada Orthodontics6870 S Rainbow Blvd Suite #112(702) 909-2900http://snorthodontics.com/
Sunrise Orthodontics3196 S Maryland Pkwy #307(702) 629-5695https://www.sunriseortholv.com/
Sunset Dental & Orthodontics1351 W Sunset Rd Ste.100(702) 550-1147https://sunsetdentalhenderson.com/
SuperSmile Orthodontics7090 N Durango Dr STE 120(702) 645-5100https://www.supersmilevegas.com/
The Orthodontist of Las Vegas – Wirig Orthodontics4610 Meadows Ln Suite A(702) 454-1008https://orthodontistoflasvegas.com/
Thresher Orthodontics9500 W Flamingo Rd(702) 254-4335http://www.thresherorthodontics.com/
Truman Orthodontics: Dr. Mark Truman10000 W Sahara Ave Suite 110(702) 500-1112https://trumanorthodontics.com/
Webster Orthodontics7603 Grand Teton Dr #110(702) 819-9921https://www.webster-ortho.com/
Welch Orthodontics8551 W Lake Mead Blvd # 261(702) 240-2300https://www.welchortho.com/
Whetten & Feller Orthodontics4540 S Pecos Rd(702) 436-0999https://www.whettenfellerorthodontics.com/
Whetten & Feller Orthodontics: Whetten Lance DDS4540 S Pecos Rd(702) 436-0999https://www.whettenfellerorthodontics.com/
Whetten Orthodontics Lance Whetten DDS4540 S Pecos Rd(702) 436-0999https://www.whettenfellerorthodontics.com/
Wirig Shaw Orthodontics375 N Stephanie St #211(702) 454-1008https://orthodontistofhenderson.com/
Wyatt Orthodontics7550 W Lake Mead Blvd #6(702) 242-9777http://www.wyattorthodontics.com/

The Amazing Las Vegas Orthodontist

Orthodontics is a sub-specialty of dentistry that is devoted to the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites). Improper bites may result from tooth irregularity or positioning, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. The word orthodontics is derived from the Greek language (ortho) meaning straight and (odont) meaning tooth. Today, Las Vegas Orthodontists can do much more than just move teeth.

Orthodontic treatment may focus on improving poor positioning of teeth and bite relations or, may even influence the way the face shapes and forms over time. Your Las Vegas Orthodontist may provide treatment for purely cosmetic reasons, improving the general appearance of a person’s teeth and face. In addition, treatment may be necessary to functionally improve the bite (occlusion). It’s entirely possible to accomplish both goals simultaneously.

One of the most important and fundamental considerations in smile design, and/or bite correction is the position of the teeth. How they fit into the framework of the face and jaws and how the upper and lower jaws relate to each other is the most important factor.

ORTHODONTICS CRUCIAL ROLE IN DESIGNING A PERFECT SMILE

A prerequisite to smile design is the proper positioning and alignment of the teeth. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the proper position. Your dedicated Las Vegas Orthodontist plays a critical role in the goal of attaining that winning smile. To complete the aesthetic transformation, an Orthodontist is only part of the “team approach” in which other dental specialties work their magic.

WHERE TO START

Take the time to get a proper evaluation of your dental situation and find out what options are available and best for you. A good place to begin is with your general dentist. Many general Las Vegas dentists offer “Smile Design/Cosmetic Dentistry”, so choosing one who does both may be your best option. These dentists tend to work in teams, and they may have recommendations for orthodontists that work well with them and share their smile design philosophy.

It’s important to use the right treatment approach the first time so you can have a long lasting, healthy smile. This may well involve developing a trusting relationship with your dentist who knows whom to contact. The combined knowledge, skill, and judgment of an experienced dental professional team will foster the development of a personalized plan that you’re happy with. This approach may take some time, but don’t be rushed — as smile design for life takes time. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”

WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIST?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has taken advanced specialty training in several areas. Some general dentists also practice orthodontic treatment. Most have taken varying degrees of advanced training in this specialty area. The most important consideration is understanding that form and function go hand in hand. The position of your teeth dictate how they will work together, and this greatly affects the way you look and smile. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. An Orthodontic specialist requires an understanding of the “mechanics” of how to move teeth into the right position through three key operating principles:

Development: The growth and development of the teeth and jaws.

Alignment: The alignment of teeth within the dental arches or jaws.

Occlusion: The bite or how teeth come together and function in harmony with the jaw joints.

ORTHODONTIC DIAGNOSIS

Being trained in growth and development, an orthodontist can determine the ideal age to evaluate and treat a young growing patient. Growth potential plays an important role in the design of the treatment plan and the orthodontic mechanics of tooth movement. Growth can be assessed and modified through orthodontic treatment and can be an important ally to an aesthetic, functional and stable result. Since growth is no longer a factor in adults, a different approach to treatment is needed for younger patients.


Before a problem can be addressed, there must be a clear understanding of how and why the teeth are in their present position. This takes a careful assessment, which is why an orthodontic specialist is so important. Dental and medical histories are crucial in making the decision as to whether you are healthy enough to undergo orthodontic treatment. Detailed records will also be needed including:

  • Impressions molds of your teeth and the way they meet, which are known simply as study models.
  • Articulated models that can be placed in a machine called an articulator, which allows the dentist to assess in 3D how a patient’s jaws move during normal function. The orthodontist can then make any plans necessary to correct the problems he or she has identified.
  • Specialized radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth and the relationship of the jaws.
  • Photographs of your smile and position of the teeth.
  • Computer imaging.

These records are necessary to document the current situation, as well as “predict” what is possible related to your particular bite. These important records help your Las Vegas orthodontist determine the best plan of action to provide not only the best aesthetics but also functional improvement.

Records are also necessary once orthodontic treatment is completed so a dentist years later could evaluate and understand if, when, and where teeth may have moved or shifted.

HOW AND WHY DO TEETH MOVE?

Orthodontic appliances, commonly known as “braces,” are the small brackets that are placed on teeth. Thin, flexible wires are threaded through these brackets. These small wires place a light force on the teeth, as they tend to straighten themselves to their original form, moving the teeth with them. Teeth are able to move due to the magical properties of the periodontal ligament, which at­taches the teeth to the bone. This periodontal ligament has elastic properties, so the teeth are not set in the bone like pillars in concrete. Since the tissue surrounding the teeth is living, teeth are constantly changing and “remodeling” with micro-movements. When a very light and controlled force is placed on a tooth on the “tension” or pulling side, new bone, ligament, and cementum (the material that covers tooth roots) are formed. On the pressure side, cells will remove bone and ligament to allow the tooth to move.

STABLE END RESULT

Overall, the goal of a good Las Vegas Orthodontists treatment are aesthetics, function, health, and stability — all of which must be considered. The proper diagnosis of tooth-position discrepancies and bite issues, including understanding why your teeth are in their current state is fundamental. It is equally important to determine where they should be. The method to moving your teeth and how stable the result will be once the treatment has been completed (stabilization and retention) is the reason that an orthodontist or a dentist who has advanced training and experience in orthodontics is so critical to your treatment plan.

THE TEAM APPROACH

While every patient and situation are unique, it is important to understand that many times it takes a “team” of dental professionals to coordinate and execute a personalized plan. Many Las Vegas Orthodontists already have a network of general and specialty dentists they are comfortable with. They know how the other team members think; each is in tune with the expertise and experience of the other. Orthodontics will allow the teeth and jaws containing them to line up more functionally and esthetically, just as an architect and contractor put the foundations of a building in the right position. The general dentists and other specialists, i.e., the subcontractors, then apply their own special skills to complete the task. Herein lies the strength of a team approach to smile design and proper management. Depending on the complexity of the treatment plan, the Orthodontist may employ resources from several dental specialists.

The dental team often includes:

General Dentist: A general dentist is in a unique position. Depending upon the skill, training, experience and comfort level, a general dentist can practice any area of dentistry. Many “generalists” specialize in restorative or cosmetic dentistry; reshaping or restoring the teeth themselves, with veneers, crowns or other means. A general dentist may also perform orthodontic treatment including the use of braces or clear aligners.

Prosthodontist: Specialist in advanced tooth replacement and bite problems.

Periodontist: Specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the supporting structures of the teeth (bone, connecting ligament and gum tissues). They can enhance periodontal tissues, which are like a curtain surrounding the teeth.

Oral Surgeon: An oral surgeon specializes in oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (face and jaw) surgery. They can perform “orthognathic” surgery (ortho = straight, gnathic = jaw) to place the jaw bones into a proper relationship to each other to achieve proper biting relations and function in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is an ingenious scientific discovery which has allowed the dental profession to accurately and precisely move teeth into not only improved aesthetic alignment but also improved functional position. By exploiting the body’s innate abilities by which tissues normally “remodel” themselves to maintain a steady state, Orthodontists can employ the many options described above. With the ability to straighten teeth for a great smile, and improve overall dental health which lasts a lifetime, orthodontia has been one of the greatest achievements modern medicine.


10 Questions to Ask a Potential Las Vegas Orthodontist

If your dentist has recommended braces for your child or yourself, you may want to prepare yourself with some questions to ask the orthodontist. Here are 10 Questions to Ask Your Las Vegas Orthodontist that may help you decide which orthodontist fits your needs best. You may want to schedule an evaluation appointment with a few Las Vegas Orthodontists to evaluate the differences in treatment plans, along with the many other factors, such as location, hours of operation, treatment options, and the all-important “gut feeling. It can be a stressful situation, so it helps to be prepared when you meet with potential Orthodontists. Orthodontists are accustomed to answering questions from parents, so you should be candid about your concerns and feel free to ask any questions that you have. Being informed and educated about the orthodontic process will help you and your orthodontist start and maintain a long, healthy relationship and straight teeth. While you most likely have your own, below are some common questions to ask an orthodontist that you may want to start with on your first orthodontic visit. It may be a good idea to have these questions printed out, so you can refer back to them as you make your decision.

  1. Are you a board-certified orthodontic specialist?
    This is really two separate questions. Board certified means that your orthodontist has been certified from the American Board of Orthodontics by demonstrating skill and knowledge in the specialty field of orthodontics bypassing clinical and written exams. If an orthodontist is not board certified, they should at the very least be “board eligible” which means that they have completed the required courses, but have not yet completed the testing period. To become an orthodontic specialist, your doctor must complete all of the necessary education to receive a Master of Orthodontics after graduating from dental school. While general dentists can provide orthodontic services, it is important to know the difference between an orthodontic specialist vs. dentist who provides orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment is usually a long-term commitment, so making sure your Las Vegas orthodontist is completely skilled and experienced in all manners of orthodontia will set your mind at ease from the beginning.
  1. What types of dental braces do you offer and recommend for my orthodontic needs?
    Dental braces come in several different styles, and a skilled orthodontist can tell you the pros and cons of each type of treatment option for your unique dental circumstances. Not all orthodontic options are appropriate for every patient, and the cost is sometimes a factor as well. Ask your Las Vegas orthodontist what he or she recommends and why then use that information to help you make the best orthodontic decision for your needs and budget.
  2. How long does my child need to wear braces?
    Braces and other orthodontic appliances may be worn from as little as 6 months to over 2 years. Length of orthodontic treatment will vary depending on several factors:
  • Complexity of the orthodontic problem
  • Type of orthodontic treatment chosen
  • Patient compliance
  • Patient growth
  • Adult teeth eruption
  • Unexpected or repeated damage to an orthodontic appliance
  • Your orthodontist can give you an educated estimate on treatment length after conducting an oral evaluation. In addition, some orthodontic treatments depend on jaw growth and position which can be unpredictable.
  1. How often will we need to visit the orthodontist during treatment?
    Orthodontic check-ups for patients vary and can be from every few weeks to every few months during active treatment, which means that the appliances used are actively moving teeth the entire time they are in the mouth. Some dental appliances need more monitoring or cleaning than others, so how often you need to be seen by the orthodontist will largely depend on your unique situation. Your orthodontist can give you a fairly accurate estimate of how often you will need to schedule appointments, however, you should remember that making adjustments is part of a good orthodontic plan. This is a good time to ask the office if their business hours will fit your busy schedule (open Saturdays?).
  2. Will there be any restrictions on activities or food while wearing braces?
    Patients with braces typically have no restrictions on what kind of activities or sports in which they can participate. Your orthodontist will most likely recommend a mouth guard for sports involving more potential contact, such as football, wrestling, soccer, or basketball. You should definitely tell your orthodontist if you are concerned about a particular activity. Your Las Vegas orthodontist can recommend the best mouth guard for you or your child, or even procure a custom mouth guard if you prefer.As far as food goes, most braces do require some food avoidance, such as sticky and gooey foods or hard foods that can damage or break the wires and brackets of your braces. Your orthodontist will supply you with a list of items that should not be eaten (or should be cut into small pieces) while wearing braces, as well as suggest some alternatives to the food that are temporarily off-limits.
  1. How will dental hygiene habits need to change while wearing braces?
    Dental appliances, including braces, do make it more difficult to effectively keep the teeth clean and free from plaque and food debris. Extra care must be taken when brushing under the wire of your braces to remove bacteria and any food that may be stuck. It is important to pay special attention to keeping your teeth clean while wearing braces to avoid decalcification (loss of calcium due to plaque accumulation, appearing as white spots on teeth).Dental floss and a special brush called a proxabrush can also be used to clean between the teeth and behind the archwire. Your Las Vegas orthodontist will provide you with all the information you need to properly care for your teeth while wearing braces, along with supplies you may need, such as orthodontic wax, floss threaders, and a proxabrush. Following your doctor’s instructions on caring for your orthodontic appliance will help you keep your smile healthy.
  1. Will teeth need to be extracted before getting braces?
    Usually, there is no need to extract teeth before placing dental braces, however, sometimes permanent teeth must be extracted in order to create room for the teeth to be properly aligned. Extraction may be recommended if the patient has severe overcrowding of teeth or if his or her jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth that have erupted. In other cases, primary teeth may need to be extracted to help a permanent tooth or teeth erupt properly.
  2. What happens if the dental appliance breaks or gets lost?
    Loose brackets or wires are quite common during orthodontic treatment. If this happens, you should contact your Las Vegas orthodontist office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to get your appliance back into proper working order as quickly as possible. Your orthodontist will give you instructions on what to do about a bothersome wire until it can be fixed, as well as what to do in case of an orthodontic emergency.
    If your appliance, or retainer gets lost, your orthodontist can make you a replacement, however, it can be quite expensive. Make sure that your child understands the importance of treating his or her appliance with care and to keep removable appliances in a case when not in use.
  1. Will a retainer be necessary when the braces are removed?
    Your orthodontic treatment plan is not complete right after braces are removed. Most often, treatment plans require wearing a retainer once the dental braces come off in order to keep teeth in place while they settle into their permanent position. Your newly straightened teeth are most susceptible to moving out of alignment right after the braces are taken off.Retention visits will be scheduled in order for your orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay in place in proper functioning positions. These visits will eventually be spread out over longer periods of time but, until then, you should continue with follow-up visits and treatment to maintain the alignment you invested so much time and money in.
  1. How much will braces cost?
    The cost of dental braces usually ranges from $3,000 – $10,000, depending on the type of braces worn and complexity of treatment. Most orthodontists offer payment plans interest-free. Check to see if your health insurance has any coverage for orthodontic treatment. If you are eligible for an orthodontic benefit, make sure that the orthodontist accepts your plan and find out from your insurance company how much your portion will be.Being prepared and knowing your responsibility before treatment starts will help make the process go smoothly. Also make sure that the price quoted for braces includes:
  • Appointments
  • Appliances
  • X-rays
  • Photographs
  • Molds
  • Retainers
  • All follow-up visits

Commonly Used Terms in Orthodontics

 

Adjustments
Regular monthly follow-up visits for braces patients. Elastic bands are replaced and archwires may be replaced or adjusted as needed.

Anterior
Toward the front of the mouth, specifically incisor and canine teeth.

Appliance
Any device, either attached to the teeth or removable, designed to move the teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold the teeth in their final positions after braces are removed. This includes retainers, headgears, and so on.

Archwire
A wire that is held in place by the brackets and acts as a track to guide the movement of teeth.

Bands
Also known as elastic ties or ligatures, these are tiny rubber rings that hold the archwire into place. They come in a variety of colors.

Bite
Formally known as an “occlusion,” this is the way that the upper and lower teeth meet together.

Bite plate
An acrylic appliance that reduces an overbite by preventing the back teeth from touching.

Bonded retainer
This is a permanent retainer that consists of a wire glued across the inside surface of the upper or lower front teeth. It’s designed to keep teeth in their current position.

Bonding
The process of attaching brackets or other permanent appliances to teeth using specialized non-toxic glue.

Bracket
A small square that is bonded directly to teeth with a dental bonding agent or attached with orthodontic bands. Brackets act like handles, holding the archwires that move the teeth in place. They can be metal or clear, and can be placed on the outside or inside of teeth.

Buccal tube
Sometimes simply called “hooks,” these are small metal hooks bonded to the outside of a bracket or tooth. They are used to hold elastics or other auxiliary pieces.

C Chain
Also known as a power chain, this is a continuous elastic chain that wraps around multiple brackets to close space between teeth.

Crossbite
Also known as an underbite, this bite occurs when any teeth of the upper jaw are located on the inside of the lower jaw.

Decalcification
Sometimes called “white scars,” these are the white chalky marks on teeth caused by plaque being left on for an extended period of time.

Deep bite
Commonly known as an over bite, this occurs when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth excessively.

Diastema
A space between two teeth.

Elastic tie
Also known as a “band,” this is a tiny rubber ring that holds the archwire in place. They come in a variety of colors.

Elastics
Also known simply as rubber bands, these are attached to hooks on brackets and connect the upper and lower jaw diagonally. They need to be replaced by the patient 3-4 times a day to maintain their elasticity. Unless otherwise prescribed, rubber bands should be worn at all times except for when brushing, flossing, or eating a large meal.

Functional appliances
These are appliances that use the muscle action of speaking, eating and swallowing to produce force to move the teeth, align the jaws, and stimulate the growth of either the upper or lower jaw. They’re also known as orthopedic appliances and include devices such as orthopedic correctors, activators, bionators, Frankel appliances, Herbst appliances and twin blocks.

Hawley retainer
The most common and recognizable type of retainer. It is made of an acrylic plate connected to a metal wire that wraps around the front of teeth.

Headgear
An appliance worn outside of the mouth to provide traction for growth modification and tooth movement. The headgear attaches to the head using a chin strap, neck strap, or head strap. It then attaches to the teeth using 2 rubber bands that connect the headgear to hooks on the teeth.

Herbst appliance
A fixed appliance that is used to treat a growing patient with an underdeveloped lower jaw. It holds the lower jaw in a forward position to reduce over bite and enhance the patient’s profile.

Holding arch
These types of appliances include lingual arches, nances, and transpalatal arches, and are usually used to maintain the position of the molars. They consist of metal bands that wrap around the molars, connected by metal wires or bands that cross the roof of the mouth.

Impacted tooth
A tooth that is unable to erupt from the gum normally because of the position of the bone or surrounding teeth.

Invisalign
System of clear plastic aligners that straighten teeth using a series of 18 to 30 trays. These aligners are removable and do not involve the brackets and wires of traditional braces. Invisalign is available for adults and teens, but not younger children.

Ligature tie
Also called a steel tie or metal tie, this is a fine wire that holds the archwire in place.

Lip bumper
A plastic-coated wire that attaches to the front of the brackets on the lower teeth to create space between the teeth and the lip.

Malocclusion
To put it simply, a “bad bite”; teeth that do not fit together properly.

Mandible
The lower jaw.

Maxilla
The upper jaw.

Metal bands
Also known as orthodontic bands, these are stainless steel rings that are cemented to teeth. They wrap around each tooth to provide an anchor for the bracket.

Mixed dentition
The stage when kids have a mixture of permanent and baby teeth.

Mouth sores
Sores inside the mouth caused by irritation from rough brackets, wires, and other devices. These are common when patients are first getting used to braces.

Occlusion
Also known as a “bite,” this is the way that the upper and lower teeth meet together.

Open bite
In this type of bite, there are areas where the top and bottom teeth do not touch at all.

Orthognathic surgery
This is surgery performed to align the jaws. It is only recommended in extreme cases.

Overbite
This occurs when the top front teeth overlap the bottom front teeth excessively.

Overjet
The distance between the surfaces of the top and bottom teeth in an over bite.

Orthodontics
Derived from the words ”ortho,” “meaning,” “straight,” and  “odont,” meaning “tooth,” this is a branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of facial irregularities. The practice involves the design, application, and control of corrective appliances to bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.

Orthodontist
A dental specialist with at least 2 years of post-doctoral training in orthodontics at an American Dental Association-accredited program after dental school. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.

Orthodontic wax
Non-toxic wax that is made to be placed over brackets or wires to relieve irritation. You can find it at drugstores or get it from any orthodontist.

Palate
The roof of the mouth.

Palate expander
An expandable appliance used to make the upper jaw wider. It can be bonded to teeth or attached with metal orthodontic bands.

Pendex/pendulum
Two very similar appliances, each attached to teeth with 4 orthodontic bands.  They are designed to move the upper molars towards the back of the mouth.  The advantage of either of these is that it replaces the need for a headgear.

Periodontium
This refers to the tissues surrounding the teeth (the gums).

Phase I
Early orthodontic treatment, usually between ages 7-10, that occurs when a child still has a mixture of permanent and baby teeth. This initial phase is designed to help treat certain orthodontic problems, such as alignment and growth issues, that are more easily corrected when the patient is still young. Phase I patients will almost always still need a full set of braces (known as Phase II) at a later time.

Phase II
Also known as “active treatment” or “full braces,” this phase of treatment occurs once all the permanent teeth have come in.

Posterior
Toward the back of the mouth, specifically molar and premolar teeth.

Power chain
Also known as a C chain, this is a continuous elastic chain that wraps around multiple brackets to close space between teeth.

Quad helix
An appliance that uses looped wire to expand the upper jaw.  It is used to correct an underbite.

Retainer
A removable appliance is worn to stabilize teeth in their new positions after orthodontic treatment. They are usually made of a combination of plastic and wire. You can also get permanent retainers, which generally consist of wires bonded behind either the bottom or top teeth.

Sagittal appliance
This is a mostly acrylic device that uses 3 screws to expand the arch of a jaw.

Self-ligating brackets
These are brackets that do not need elastics to hold the archwire in place and instead use a metal clip that opens and closes. They are typically smaller than traditional brackets, but do not offer clear or tooth-colored options. Self-ligating brackets create less friction than traditional brackets, which often makes treatment faster and more efficient.

Separator
Also known as spacers, these are elastic rings or metal springs that fit between teeth to create a small space prior to the placement of orthodontic bands. If these are needed, they are put in 2 or 3 days before braces are installed.

Space maintainer
A small metal appliance made of a band that wraps around a tooth and an open loop. It’s used to maintain the space between teeth so a permanent tooth has room to come in.

Springs
Metal springs placed on the archwire between brackets to push, pull, or open or close the spaces between teeth.

Splint
A clear plastic aligner used for the treatment of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) and facial pain. It can be worn on either the upper or lower teeth.

TMJ
The temporomandibular joint, aka the jaw joint. Often used to refer to TMJ syndrome, a painful jaw disorder.

Tooth positioner
A clear plastic, mouthguard-like device that is worn after braces are removed to create minor tooth movement and set the occlusion.

Twin block
A set of 2 devices that are used to stimulate the growth of the lower jaw while restraining the forward growth of the upper jaw.

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