020 7283 8666

A series of computer-generated, nearly invisible aligners that fit over the teeth.
Aligner Systems
Comfortable, removable aligners that gradually move your teeth into position.
invisible Braces
These systems are a simple, fast and invisible way to align teeth.
Fixed appliances
A variety of brackets depending on your individual needs and requirements.
Sectional systems
With simple Newtonian mechanical principles the teeth can be moved.
There are several methods of Prealign that Dr Mew uses.

Glossary of Orthodontic Terms, meaning of orthodontic terms or orthodontic definitions


The bone directly involved in supporting the teeth.

A fusion between a tooth and the surrounding bone that prevents movement of the tooth. Can happen following trauma, re-implanted teeth (teeth that have been replaced after being knocked out) and teeth that have been prevented from erupting (usually due to lack of space).

Anterior open bite
When the upper and lower front teeth don’t over lap vertically. People with such situations cannot cut food with their front teeth.

The wire that runs between the orthodontic brackets and provides the force to move the teeth.

Back to top

Bilateral sagittal split osteotomy
A surgical method that breaks the lower jaw, mandible, into the front half with the teeth on it and the back half with the muscles attached and jaw joint. The bone is split to give over laping edges that can be screwed together and allows the front section to be moved back, forwards or to be rotated.

Both upper and lower jaw (maxilla and mandible).

Bimaxillary surgery
Surgery to reposition both upper and lower jaws.

Made of metal, plastic or ceramic these are the small attachments that are bonded to the teeth and link the teeth to the arch wire that provides the force, in a similar way to a bracket fixed to a wall connects the wall to the shelf that performs the function of holding up books.

The side of teeth facing the cheek or movements in the direction of the cheek. The cheek muscle is called the buccinator.

Back to top

Class 1 incisor relationship
The lower incisors (front spade shaped cutting teeth) contact the mid third of the back of the upper incisors, when the teeth are together.

Class 2 division 1 incisor relationship
The lower incisors (front spade shaped cutting teeth) contact the back third of the upper incisors or behind this, when the teeth are together. Division 1 referred to the fact that the upper Incisors are not tipped backwards (palatally), often caused by the lower resting behind the upper incisors. Tends to be people with undershot chins.

Class 2 division 2 incisor relationship
The lower incisors (front spade shaped cutting teeth) contact the back third of the upper incisors or behind this, when the teeth are together. Division 2 referred to the fact that the upper Incisors are tipped backwards (palatally) often caused by the lower lips resting in front the tip of the upper incisors. Tends to be people with short square faces.

Class 3 incisor relationship
The lower incisors (front spade shaped cutting teeth) contact the front third of the upper incisors, or forward to this, when the teeth are together. Tends to be people with chins sticking out.

A 3D program developed by Invisalign that allows the virtual simulisation to be viewed by Dr Mew. The simlisation can be moved in all planes of space and each aligner stage can be viewed as a frame in a movie of your teeth progressively aligning. Care and attention to detail in adjusting the clincheck is the most important element of the Invisalign system.

Complete overbite
The lower front teeth contact the upper teeth or roof of the mouth rather than leaving a gap.

Problem where the bones that make up the head prematurely fuse together and affect growth.

When the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. It is usual for the uppers tobite outside the lowers.

Back to top

White spots on the teeth due to part dissolving of the teeth. Often occurs around and under components fixed to the teeth. There is a micro-gap that acid can access between the tooth and any component where the neutralizing effect of the saliva is ineffective and bacteria (that produce acid) tend to collect around artificial components. This can be reduced by both cleaning the teeth well, reducing the frequency of acidic drinks, using mouthwash and chewing sugar free gum.

Dental arch
The line of upper or lower teeth that is shaped as an arch, commonly gothic or catenary shapes are found.

Dento-alveolar compensation
Moving the teeth and bone (alveola) to compensate for the position maxillary and manibular bones.

Diastema A space betwee
n the teeth (most commonly between the upper central incisors).

Descriptive term meaning the furthest point of something such as a tooth from the midline and back of the mouth.

Distraction osteogenesis
A surgical method to lengthening the bones where the bone is broken and then lengthened progressively with a screw while the repair process is still soft.

Back to top

Ectopic eruption
A tooth erupted in an unusual position.

Expansion appliance
An appliance that widens the dental arch, usually I the upper jaw.

Back to top

Final phase of orthodontic treatment when the precise alignment of the teeth is achieved.

Fixed appliance
An appliance that is fixed to the tooth surfaces in order to produce tooth movement.

A skin fold in the mouth

Back to top

A surgical method where the chin tip is moved.

The tough skin or rather gum around the teeth.

Gingival recession
Getting long in the tooth. The receding gums

Back to top

Congenital missing teeth, usually multiple missing teeth.

Back to top

In dentistry refers to a metal screw that is placed into the bone to hold a tooth above.

An imprint of the teeth.

Incompetent lips
Lips that do not touch when at rest.

Inferior alveolar nerve
The nerve that running down the mandible (lower jaw) to supplying sensation the teeth, surrounding gum and lower lip. Does not have motor function so does not supply any muscles. Can be called Inferior Dental Nerve

Inferior dental canal
The canal that contains the Inferior alveolar nerve.

Where some or one tooth is lower in the gum than surrounding teeth, usually caused by the tongue resting on the tooth (tongue splinting) or occasionally ankylosis of the tooth.

Back to top

Labial segments
The front 6 teeth in the upper and lower jaw.

Labiomental sulcus
The skin grove between the lower lips and the chin.

Lateral Cephalogram
Side x-ray of the head and face. Of questionable benefit especially if compared against so called “normal” values which can be misleading since they are not commonly the same sex, race and age.

Le Fort 1 osteotomy
A surgical method where a section of the maxilla is removed with the dental arch attached.

Lingual arch
A metal wire connecting the right and left molar teeth. Runs behind the front teeth and under of the tongue.

Back to top

A deviation from normal alignment of the teeth and interaltionship of the maxilla and mandible.

The lower jaw.

The upper jaw.

Maxillary antrum
The a chamber present in the upper jaw and closely associated with the roots of the upper molar teeth.

Descriptive term meaning the nearest point of something such as a tooth from the midline and front of the mouth

Very small jaw size.

Back to top

Nance palatal arch
A platal arch (wire running between the upper molars) with an acrylic button midway placed over the palatal rugae. Prevents ideal tongue placement on the palate and interferes with posture and function of the tongue.

Nasolabial angle
The angle between the upper lip and base of the nose.

Sectioning bone during surgery.

The vertical overlap (or space in open bite) between the upper and lower teeth when biting together

The horizontal distance between the front surface of the upper incisors and the front surface of the lower incisors. Ideally 2-4 mm, increased in class II incisors relationship and reduced or negative in class III incisor relatinoships.

Back to top

Lack of sensation or change with symptoms such as burning, prickling, tingling or numbness. Can follow nerve damage from surgery.

Creamy deposit on teeth consisting of bacteria and material produced by bacteria. Some types of these bacteria cause decay be producing acid when digesting food present in the mouth. Many types can cause gum disease.

Rubberized version of an aligner. Looks similar to a gum shield. Constructed on a dental model where the teeth have been moved in comparison to the original, usually a situation that require a few minor modification. Positioners with the upper and lower joined are possible that greatly assist in coordinating upper and lower teeth with each other.

Tipped foward. Usually referring to front teeth.

Forward position of a jaw. Mandibular prognathism refers to lower jaws that are too far forward (class III), maxillary prognathism is extremely rare.

Back to top

Quad helix appliance
A four helixed wire attached to the molars either side of the mouth in either the upper or lower jaw aimed at widening the dental arches. Tends to adversely affect tongue position.

Back to top

Either fixed or removable use to hold the teeth in alignment after treatment. To often the orthodontic treatment does not try to change the causes of the problem and it then returns. Often recommended permanently.

Tipped backwards. Usually referring to front teeth

Backwards position of a jaw. Mandibular Prognathism refers to lower jaws that are too far back (class II)

Root resorption
Shortening of roots due to orthodontic treatment. Quite common and can reduce the life of the teeth.

Back to top

Set up
Model of teeth in which the teeth have been moved to present a finished result (Ideal set up) or part finished result (set up). This can be used to demonstrate a finished result to someone or to construct aligners or positioners.

Scissor bite
Upper teeth or tooth biting completely outside the lowers, molars or premolars.

Skeletal Pattern
The horizontal relationship between the dental arches.

Supernumerary teeth
Extra teeth.

Study models
Casts of the teeth.

Back to top

Temporary anchorage devices. TADs are small screws placed in the bone from which a force can be applied to move teeth. This allows teeth to be moved without a force being applied to other teeth, which causes unwanted movements of those other teeth.

Tongue splinting
Biting the teeth together with a portion of tongue between them. Common cause of deep bites, leaning back upper front teeth (retroclined), lateral open bites and infraocclusion.

Back to top
More information

Quality care
Our commitment is to provide quality orthodontic care to the best standards possible
Initial Assesment
Book your orthodontic smile consultations.
Perform a self-assessment and understand the treatment thats right for you..
Lip and tongue exercises to change the position of the teeth, improve the lips and hollow the cheeks
Orthodontic Terms
Glossary of Orthodontic Terms, meaning of orthodontic terms or orthodontic definitions.
Case Studies
Before and after photos of Dr Mew's work

Was this site helpful

Your comments...