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Dental Dictionary

 

A

Abscess
Build-up of pus

Abutment
Tooth or structure used to anchor a denture or bridge

Amalgam
Silver material used for filling

Anesthetic
Agent causing temporary loss of feeling

Anterior
Front of the body

Apex
End of a root

Asepsis
Absence of bacteria

Attrition
Wearing of teeth

Avulsed
Injury resulting in loss of tooth

 

B

Bitewing
X-ray with teeth clenched

Bleaching
Teeth whitening

Bridge
Prosthesis used to replace teeth

Bruxism
Grinding teeth

 

C

Canine
Third tooth from center

Canker sore
Ulceration in the mouth

Caries
Decaying tooth

Cavity
Hole in tooth

Cast
Teeth model

Cementation
“Gluing” prosthesis in mouth

Chlorhexidine
Anti-microbial agent

Clasp
Metal arm used to anchor denture

Cold sore
Ulcer on lip

Composite
Filling that’s white

Cross-bite
Bite abnormality

Crown
Cap on teeth (see crowns)

 

D

Decay
Tooth infection causing demineralization

Dentistry
Part of medicine concerned with oral health

Dentition
Arrangement of teeth

Denture
Artificial material to replace tooth

Denturist
Specialist who makes dentures

Desensitization
Reducing tooth sensitivity

Diagnosis
Identifying dental problems

Diastema
Space between teeth

Distal
Away from middle

 

E

Edentulous
Absence of teeth

Endodontics
Dentistry focused on the soft tissue beneath teeth

Eruption
Appearance of teeth in the mouth

Excision
Cutting an object off

Extruded
Tooth that’s pushed slightly from socket

 

F

Filling
Restoring tooth for appearance and function

Flipper
Preliminary denture

Floss
Thread used to clean tooth gaps

Fluoride
Compound used to strengthen and clean teeth

Fluoride Treatment
Treatment using fluoride to combat decay

Fracture
Crack in a tooth

Framework
Metal skeleton used to support false teeth

 

G

Gingivitis
Mild type of gum disease

Gum Disease
Bacterial induced destruction of the gum tissues holding teeth in place

 

H

Hemorrhage
Bleeding

Hemostasis
To stop bleeding

 

I

Impaction
Improper growth of a tooth

Implant
Support for a fake tooth (see dental implants)

Impression
Mold used to model teeth

Incisal
Cutting portion of front teeth

Incisor
Four lower and upper teeth in front

Inlay
Fake portion of tooth added to complete function and appearance

Interproximal
Gap in between two teeth

 

J

K

L

LANAP
Laser assisted new attachment therapy. Only FDA approved laser to help stop, slow and possibly reverse gum disease.

Lingual
Side of a tooth facing the tongue

 

M

Mesial
Sede of a tooth facing the jaw

Molar
Final three lower and upper teeth

Mouthguard
Tool used to protect teeth from a variety of issues

 

N

Nightguard
Mouthguard worn during the night

 

O

Occlusal
Biting portion of a back tooth

Occlusion
How the lower and upper teeth come together

Onlay
Restoration covering entire biting surfaces of teeth

Open bite
When upper teeth can’t connect with lower teeth

Orthodontics
Field within dentistry focused on facial or bite irregularities

Over bite
Overlap of upper teeth in relation to lower teeth

Overhang
Piece of filling that protrudes from cavity border

 

P

Palate
Top of mouth

Panoramic Radiograph
X-ray used to see a wide view of lower and upper jaw

Perforation
Opening on tooth or other structure

Periapical
Relating to the bottom portion of tooth’s root

Periodontics
Section of dentistry focused on gum disease

Permanent teeth
Adult teeth

Pin
Nail-like tool used to retain filling

Polish
Making denture or filling glossy and smooth

Pontic
False tooth used to replace missing tooth

Post
Pin used to support tooth’s big buildup

Posterior
Positioned in the back

Pre-authorization
Approval granted from an authority before a procedure is done

Pre-medication
Medicine to take before procedure

Premolar
Two teeth positioned in front of a molars

Prescription
Written document from physician designating the specifics about a certain medicine a person should take

Primary teeth
Temporary teeth people have as babies

Prophylaxis/prophy
Polishing teeth and prevention of disease

Prosthesis
Artificial replacement for tooth or other oral structures

Prosthodontics
Portion of dentistry focused on artificial components

Pulp
Center of a tooth with blood vessels and nerves

Pulpectomy
Removal of tooth’s pulp

Pulpotomy
Removal of top portion of tooth’s pulp

 

Q

 

R

Radiograph
X-ray image

Recall
Routine cleaning and checkup appointment

Recementation
“Re-gluing” prosthesis onto a tooth or other structure

Restoration
Something dentists use to return tooth to normal functioning

Retainer
Device designed to maintain tooth’s position

Retreatment
Re-performing a root canal

Root
Bottom portion of tooth below gum

Root canal
Canal that goes through the root of teeth where blood vessels and nerves are

Root canal treatment
Treating the root canal of a tooth

Root planing
Cleaning a tooth’s root area

Rubber dam
Rubber sheet designed to fit around teeth

 

S

Scaling
Cleaning a tooth beneath the gumline

Sealant
Thin layer of material designed to cover pits and grooves on teeth

Sedation
Using medication to make a patient calm

Space Maintainer
Tool used to keep space between two teeth

Splint
Material or appliance used to keep a mobile part from moving

 

T

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)
A joint that connects the two portions of the jaw

Torus
The outgrowth of a bone which typically develops near the lower jaw’s premolar area or near the roof of a patient’s mouth

 

U

 

V

Veneer
Layer of a tooth-colored substance such as ceramic, composite or porcelain that connects the front of a tooth. These are typically used to boost the aesthetics of a tooth that’s been damaged

 

W

Wisdom tooth
The final and eighth tooth when counted from the middle of a patient’s jaw

 

W

 

X

Xerostomia
Referring to a dry mouth

 

Y

 

Z

 

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