Contact Us

We are always available to speak with you and address your concerns. Please feel free to contact us during the following hours through our office phone number or e-mail address. After hours, you may contact us through our answering service.

When discussing your treatment or if you call the office with an emergency, it’s important to use proper orthodontic terms. Listed below are the orthodontic terms we most commonly use here at Dr. Steer’s office. It is important to note, however, that Dr. Steer does not use headgear on his patients, but he wanted to include the definition of it since it is a well-known term. Please read below to learn more about the terms we use in the office.


A wire engaged in orthodontic attachments, affixed to the crowns of two or more teeth and capable of causing or guiding tooth movement.

band (orthodontic)

A thin metal ring, usually stainless steel, which serves to secure orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band, with orthodontic attachments welded or soldered to it, is closely adapted to fit the contours of the tooth and then cemented into place.


An orthodontic attachment that is secured to a tooth (either by bonding or banding) for the purpose of engaging an archwire. Brackets can be fabricated from metal, ceramic or plastic.

ceramic brackets

Crystalline, alumina, tooth-shade or clear synthetic sapphire brackets that are aesthetically more attractive than conventional metal attachments.


Dental malalignment caused by inadequate space for the teeth.


The removal of cemented orthodontic bands.

elastics (rubber bands)

Used to move teeth in prescribed direction (commonly connected to molar band and upper ball hook). Found in numerous colors for better appearance.


The tissue that surrounds the teeth, consisting of a fibrous tissue that is continuous with the periodontal ligament and mucosal covering.


While Dr. Steer does not offer this service, it is the generic term for extraoral traction (attached around the back side of the head) for tooth movement and anchorage.


The process of acquiring representations of structures in either two or three dimensions.


Of or pertaining to the tongue. A term used to describe surfaces and directions toward the tongue.


Of or pertaining to the upper jaw. May be used to describe teeth, dental restorations, orthodontic appliances or facial structures.


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

orthognathic surgery

Surgery to alter relationships of teeth and/or supporting bones, usually accomplished in conjunction with orthodontic therapy.


Vertical overlapping of upper teeth over lower teeth, usually measured perpendicular to the occlusal plane.


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


Any orthodontic appliance used to maintain the position of the teeth following corrective treatment.


The passive treatment period following active orthodontic correction during which retaining appliances may be used.

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.