Small Dental Dictionary

A Small Dental Dictionary

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6 year molar Another name for your first molar
abscess A local infection. A Severe decay, periodontal disease, or trauma arecausative factors. It is characterized by swelling and pain. If an abscessruptures, it will be accompanied by sudden relief from pain due to areduction in sure. A foul taste may also be noticed
abutment Teeth on either side of a gap that support a fixed orremovable bridge
acrylic A plastic used to false teeth, retainers, and other dental products. Dentalacrylic has been tested and thought to be perfectly safe.
acrylic resin The plastic widely used in dentistry to makedentures
active eruption The emergence of the tooth from its position in the jaw
adhesion The sticking together of unlike substance
adjustment A modification made upon a dental after it has been completed andinserted into the mouth
aerobic bacteria Bacteria which grow in oxygen rich environments; in the oral cavity thebacteria are found outside the sulcu
afferent Nerves that carry sensory messages toward the brain
agar A gelatin like substance obtained from seaweed; used in impression materials
air abrasion A drill-free technique that blasts the tooth surface with air and anabrasive. This can be used to remove tooth decay, old composite restorationsand superficial stains and discolorations, and prepare a tooth surface forbonding or sealants
alginate An impression material used by dentists for making stone models
alveolar bone The bone surrounding the root of the tooth; loss of this bone is typicallyassociated with severe periodontal disease
alveolar crest The highest portion of alveolar bone
alveolar eminence Outline of the root on the facet portion of the bone
alveolar process The portion of the mandible or maxilla that surrounds the root of a tooth
alveolectomy An operation where portions of the alveolar bone are removed
alveolus A opening in your jaw-bone in which a tooth is attached.
alveolus The bony socket in which the root of the tooth sits
amalgam A common filling material used to repair cavities. The material, also knownas \“silver fillings,\“ contains mercury in combination with silver, tin,copper and sometimes zinc
amalgam fillings Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals including silver, tin,copper and mercury. The advantage of using amalgam is that it\’s extremelydurable and able to withstand the grinding and chewing of the molar teethover long periods of time
anaerobic bacteria Bacteria that do not need oxygen to grow; they are generally associated withperiodontal disease
anatomical crown The portion of the tooth that is covered with enamel
anatomy 1)The arangement of the bones in your skeletn2)The study of the arrangement of the bones in your skeleton.
anesthesia A type of medication that results in partial or complete elimination of painsensation; numbing a tooth is an example of local anesthesia; generalanesthesia produces partial or complete unconsciousness
anesthetic A drug which a doctor or dentist uses to put you, your mouth, or some otherpart of your body asleep so you do not feel any pain during dental ormedical procedures.
anniversary year Begins on the day of the month that the patients\‘ insurance became effective
anodontia The developmental absence of teeth
anomaly A deviation from the normal or expected outcome
antagonist A structure that opposes or counteracts another structure
anterior An adjective used to describe things pertaining to your your Centrals,laterals and cuspids (your front teeth).
anterior teeth Your centrals, laterals, and cuspids. These are the teeth in the front ofyour mouth
antibiotic Substance produced by or derived from bacteria which is able to inhibit orkill other bacteria
antimicrobial Destroying or inhibiting the growth of bacteria
antiseptic A chemical agent which can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.
ANUG Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis. An acute, painful conditioncharacterized by severe gingival redness, spontaneous bleeding, foul breathand pain
apex The very bottom of the root of your tooth
apical foramen The opening at the end of the root of a tooth through which the toothreceives its nerve and blood supply
apicoectomy A Root End Surgery formerly known as \“apicoectomy\“, is an endodonticsurgical procedure whereby a tooth\’s root tip is removed, a root end cavityis prepared and filled with a biocompatible material. An apicoectomy may beneeded when an infection develops or persists after root canal treatment orretreatment
apposition The laying down of, or addition of
arch Collectively, either the teeth or the basal bone of either jaw.
arch A curvature; both the maxillary and mandibular ridge form a horseshoe shapedarch
armamentarium A general term for the dental chairs, lights and equipment used by yourdentist or orthodontist.
articulating paper Carbon paper; placed between the upper and lower teeth to mark contact
articulator A special holder for models of your teeth. The articulator holds the modelsin the same alignment as your jaw so the orthodontist can look carefully atyour bite.
asepsis The avoidance of potentially pathogenic microorganism. In practice,it refersto those techniques which aims to exclude all microorganisms.
aspiration Removal of fluids from your mouth with an aspirator.
aspirator A tube like a straw which the dentist puts in your mouth to suck up all thesaliva.
assignment of benefits A clause in an insurance policy that allows the insured person to direct thecarrier\’s payment to the dentist
asymmetry/ symmetry To be esthetic, tooth Size, shape and gum contour should be as close toidentical from one side of the mouth to the other. Ideally, the incisaledges of your teeth should follow the contour of the upper lip
attachment level A numerical measure of the amount of attachment of the periodontal ligamentto a tooth; the number is generally determined by combining a pocket depthmeasurement with a measurement of gingival recession. Attachment level isconsidered one of the most important measures of periodontal diseaseprogress or treatment succes
attrition Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing
attrition The wearing away of tooth structure through normal use (ie. chewing, biting,etc.)
axon The process that carries impulses away from the cell body of a nerve
back teeth See POSTERIOR TEETH
benefit year Generally begins on the month of the year that the employer purchased theplan
bicuspids Or having two cusps. The first and second bicuspids; they are the fourth andfifth teeth from the center of the mouth, respectively. These are the backteeth that are used for chewing
bifurcation Having two branches, or dividing into two parts
bilateral Both sides
biomechanics The relationship between the force you apply to living tissue such as teethand gums and and how the tissue moves and changes
birthday rule Applies when a child is covered under both parent\’s plans; the plan of theparent who\’s birthday (month and day, not year) falls earlier in thecalendar year is billed first (in cases of divorce or separation, otherfactors pertain)
bite Relationship of the upper and lower teeth upon closure (occlusion)
biteplane A removable appliance made of acrylic designed to open a deep bite.
bite-wing A single X-ray that shows teeth (from crown to about the level of thesupporting bone) in a select area on the same film
bleaching Chemical or laser treatment of natural teeth that uses peroxide to producethe whitening effect
bolus Chewed up mass of food and saliva
bonding Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (adurable plastic material) is applied and hardened with a special light,which ultimately \“bonds\“ the material to the tooth to restore or improveperson\’s smile
braces Devices (bands, wires, ceramic appliances) put in place by orthodontists togradually reposition teeth to a more favorable alignment
bridge Stationary dental (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space;replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded to supporting teethor implants adjacent to the space. Also called a fixed partial denture
brushing your teeth Brush at least twice a day – after breakfast and before bedtime. If you can,brush after lunch or after sweet snacks. Brushing properly breaks downplaque. Brush all of your teeth, not just the front ones. Spend some time onthe teeth along the sides and in the back. Brush away from your gums.
bruxism Clenching or grinding of your teeth especially at night.
bruxism tmj Bruxism is the medical term for grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth.The condition affects both children and adults
buccal The tooth surface which is next to your cheeks. Usually only posterior teethtouch your cheeks, so people usually use the term \“buccal\“ only when talkingabout your back teeth.
buccinator muscle The cheek muscle
calcification The process of hardening through the deposition of lime salts
calculus A hard deposit that forms when you do not brush your teeth so the plaquehardens. Calculus is also known as tartar.
canal The narrow chamber inside the root of a tooth that contains nerve tissue andblood vessels
canine The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are totally 4 of them. They are the longest teeth in human.
canine occlusion Occlusion is how your teeth come together when you close your jaw. YourOcclusion is influenced by three primary components: (1) teeth, (2) nervesand muscles, and (3) bones. Another factor, which can affect the way yourteeth come together, is your posture
canines See CUSPIDS; so named because the correspond to the long teeth of a dog
Canker sore An ulceration with yellow base and red border inmouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.
capitation plan A plan whereby the dentist is contracted with the administrator to providedental services to persons covered under the program in return for paymenton a per-capita basis
caries Another name for a cavities (tooth decay)
caries Medical term for decay; caused by decalcification of the enamel anddisintegration of the dentin by acid producing bacteria
cariogenic Or decay-causin
carrier The party (usually an insurance company) that pays claims and collectspremiums
carryover If the deductible was paid last year, the next year (or quarter, Jan., Feb.and March) they do not have to pay the deductible again
cast Reproduction of the mouth in stone or plaster
cavity A small hole in one of your teeth caused by tooth decay.
cement A dental material used to seal inlays, onlays, and crowns; also used forpupal protection
cementation The process of \“glue\“ the appliance/ on the associated area.
cementum A bony substance covering the root of a tooth.
cementum Makes up the dull yellow outer surface of the roots
central The two upper and two lower teeth in the very center of your mouth.
centric occlusion The relationship of the occlusal surfaces of one arch to those in theopposing arch at physical rest position
centric relation The relationship of the maxillary arch to the mandibular arch when thecondyle is in its most retracted position
cervical Pertaining to the neck of a tooth
cervix The neck of the tooth; the area where the crown joins the root or the enameljoins the cementum
cheek pouch The area of the mouth inside the cheek
chemotherapeutic An agent of a chemical nature which exerts an antimicrobial effect
chlorhexidine An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels andrinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.
cingulum A raised area on the lingual surface of anterior teeth
clasp A metal arm extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on tonatural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.
class 1 malocclusion Malocclusion where your bite is OK (your top teeth line up with your bottomteeth) but your teeth are crooked, crowded or turned
class 2 malocclusion A Malocclusion where your upper teeth stick out past your lower teeth. Thisis also called an \“overbite\“ or \“buck teeth
class 3 malocclusion A Malocclusion where your lower teeth stick out past your upper teeth. Thisis also called an \“underbite\“
cleaning See PROPHYLAXIS
cleft palate An opening in the palate
clinical crown That portion of the tooth visible in the mouth, extending from the occlusalor incisal edge to the crest of the free gingiva
closed bite A malocclusion where your upper teeth cover your lower teeth when you bitedown. This is also called a \“deep bite.\“
closed panel A plan where the covered patient only receives benefits if the services areprovided by a dentist contracted with the plan\’s administrator
col A \“V-shaped depression in the facial-lingual interdental papilla locatedcervically to the contact area of the tooth
cold sore An ulcer or blister on lip. A form of herpes simplex.
communition Crushing or grinding to a powder
complete series See FULL-MOUTH X-RAYS
composite The material traditionally used for bonded restorations. It is made from anadmixture of various glass particles in a polymerized gel-like matrix. Thismaterial is generally applied to etched enamel and primed dentin. It is thenpolymerized with a curing light, a visible blue light which activates acatalyst in the composite and causes it to harden almost instantly.
composite filling Tooth-colored restorative material. The word \“composite\“ refers to themixture of filler particles in a liquid resin. Commonly, the resin used isBIS-GMA (bis-gammamethylmetacrylate). Filler particles are added to alterthe color and wear characteristics. Common filler particles are silica,aluminum, zinc, tin, copper and iron
concave Curving inward away from the viewer
contact area That portion of the proximal surface of a tooth that touches the adjacenttooth
convex Curving outward toward the viewer
cosmetic dentistry Aesthetic improvement of the color and shape of teeth performed by a generaldentist
crest A prominence or ridge
cross contamination Passing bacteria, viruses or AIDS indirectly from one patient to anotherthrough the use of improper sterilization procedures, unclean instruments,or \“recycling\“ of orthodontic products.
Cross-bite An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/toothalign toward the check/ lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth.
crown A dental crown is a tooth-shaped \“cap\“ that is placed over a tooth –covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or toimprove its appearance
crown inclination A tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped toward cheeks(lips) or toward the lingual (palate) of the mouth.
curettage The surgical scraping of bacteria from soft tissue. This is a periodontalprocedure and is usually performed one quadrant at a time
cuspal The chewing or tearing points of the cuspids, bicuspids, and molars.
cuspid The pointy teeth just behind the laterals. These teeth have one cuspal (orpoint). Cuspids are also called canines.
cusps Elevated points on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (posterior teeth)
custom tray An individual tray; custom made to fit a patient\’s mouth
debridement Treatment of a bacterial infection by removing irritants (bacteria,calculus) from the periodontal pocket so as to allow healing of adjacenttissues
decalcification The loss of calcium from your teeth. This weakens your teeth and makes themmore succeptable to decay
decay The problem is caused by sticky deposits called plaque that collect, inparticular, around the gum line, the edges of fillings and the groovedsurfaces of the teeth.Plaque is made up of food debris, saliva and thebacteria that are normally present in the mouth, and convert food intoacids.If plaque is allowed to collect over time it will harden into asubstance called tartar. Both tartar and plaque contain acids which, overtime, can dissolve away the protective, hard enamel coating of the tooth,and create holes, or cavities.
deciduous teeth Baby teeth; teeth that exfoliate or shed. see PRIMARY TEETH
deductible The amount paid by the patient before the carrier begins benefit payments
deep bite Excessive overbite; closed bite.
deglutition Swallowing
demineralization Loss of mineral from tooth enamel just below the surface in a cariouslesion; usually appearing as a white area on the tooth surface
dendrite The process that conducts impulses toward the cell body of a nerve
dental implants A dental implant is essentially a substitute for a natural root and commonlyit is screw or cylinder shaped. Each implant is placed into a socketcarefully drilled at the precise location of the intended tooth. If animplant has a screw-thread on its outer surface it can be screwed intoposition and if it does not, it is usually tapped into place. The main aimduring installation of any implant is to achieve immediate close contactwith the surrounding bone. This creates an initial stability, which overtime is steadily enhanced by further growth o
dental maintenanceorganization (d.m.o.) A legal entity that accepts the responsibility of providing services at afixed price
dental resin A dental material applied to the tooth which is used in cases of severedentinal hypersensitivity; usually not used unless all other treatmentattempts have failed
dental varnish A hypersensitivity treatment which sometimes contains sodium fluoride;applied to the tooth surface, covering the outer surface of dentin and thusblocking transmission of stimuli to the pulp
dentin The calcium part of a tooth below the enamel containing the pulp chamber androot canals.
dentin The hard, yellowish tissue underlying the enamel and cementum; it makes upthe major bulk of the tooth
dentinal tubules Microscopic canals that run from the outside of the dentin to the nerveinside the tooth
dentistry A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment ofany disease concern about teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures.
dentition The arrangement of the teeth.
denture A synthetic replacment for all of your teeth in either your upper or yourlower jaw.
denture (Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture, temporary) An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboringstructures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy differenttreatment requirements and patient preferences.
denture fixative Denture fixatives can be purchased in three different forms:- pastes liquidsand powder. Complete dentures depend for their retention upon being anexcellent fit. Experience indicates that however well a denture may fitthere are many patients who gain extra security and confidence from the useof a denture fixative. The choice of a particular type depends very much onpersonal preference. It is wise therefore to experiment and choose the mosteffective product. Fixatives are particularly useful with an immediatedenture or after an addition has been made to a partial denture, as thetissues shrink upon healing and the dentures will become loose.
dentures Dentures are a made by the dentist to replace the teeth in yourmouth, indeed usually all or most of the teeth in your mouth. Also, thematerials used to create dentures have changed dramatically. We now useplastic materials, porcelain and plastic teeth that look and chew likenatural teeth to make dentures
desensitization A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.
desensitization The blocking of painful stimuli which cause dentinal hypersensitivity
desiccate To make dry; to remove all moisture
desquamation A peeling of gingival tissue; in cases of desquamative gingivitis, thetissues may appear smooth and shiny, with patches of bright red and gray.Surface tissue may peel away, exposing a raw, bleeding, painful surface
developmental depression A concavity in a surface that formed while the tooth was developing
diagnosis The process of identifying the nature of a disorder.
diagnostic Procedures performed by the dentist to identify what\’s going on in the mouth
diastema A space between the teeth
dilaceration An abnormal tooth that where both the crown and the root are twisted
diphyodont Having two successive sets of teeth
direct contamination Direct contact with impurities or germs. (for example by a Patient sneezingon the assistant.)
direct contamination Direct contact with impurities or germs
disinfectant A chemical agent which is applied onto inanimate surfaces, for examplechairs, to destroy germs
disinfection A cleaning process which destroys of most microorganism, but not highlyresistant forms such as bacterial and mycotic spores or the AIDS virus.
disposable materials Materials intended for one use and discarded. (e.g.: Gloves, paper gowns,cotton rolls, sponges, etc.)
distal Behind towards the back of the mouth. For example you might say that thefirst bicuspid is distal to the cuspid.
distal The surface of the tooth farthest from the midline of the dental arch
divergent Spread
drift Unwanted movement of teeth.
dry socket Dry socket — painful condition following a tooth extraction caused by ablood clot that does not properly fill the empty socket, leaving the boneunderneath exposed to air and food
Swelling resulting from fluid accumulation in gingival tissues
edentulous Someone is said to be edentulous whene all of their teeth are missing fromeither their upper or lower jaw.
edentulous Having no teeth
efferent The nerves that carry motor messages away from the brain
embrasure The space between two teeth created by the sloping away of the mesial anddistal surfaces
eminence A prominence
empress Type of porcelain crown and porcelain veneer/laminate. The advantage Empressis that it blends very nicely with the surrounding teeth; it is veryesthetic
enamel The hard, white shiny surface of the crown; composed of 95% calciumhydroxyapatite
endodontics (endo) The treatment of diseases or injuries that affect the root tip or nerve ofthe tooth
endodontist (endo) A dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of diseases orinjuries that affect the root tips or nerves in your teeth.
erosion The dissolution of tooth structure due to the presence of gastric juices orcitrus. Erosion seldom occurs alone; it is often accompanied by attrition orabrasion (or both) to varying degrees. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruitsand juices should be avoid in patients with signs of erosion
erupt, eruption When a new tooth comes in, the tooth is said to erupt when the tooth breaksthrough the surface of your gums, so you can see the tooth in your mouth.
eruption The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.
eruption The moving of the tooth occlusally
excision The action of cutting something off.
exclusion Services not covered by a dental plan
exfoliate To fall out. (Your Deciduous teeth exfoliate and permanent teeth erupt intothe space.)
exfoliate To shed
explorer A probe used to detect cavity growth
external On the outer surface
extraction The removal of teeth
extraoral Outside of your mouth. For example, neck pads are sait to be extra oralproducts since they go outside of your mouth.
extrusion Tooth movement in the direction of eruption. Natural extrusion: teeth growuntil there is contact with another tooth. Mechanical extrusion: to pull theteeth so that it extends farther out of your gums.
facial The surface next to the face; the outer surface of a tooth resting againstthe cheeks or lips
fee schedule A set amount paid by the insurance company regardless of the doctor\’s fee
filling A restoration places on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.
filtrum The dimple or indentation under the nose directly above the upper lip.
first bicuspid He teeth just behind the cuspids. These teeth have two cuspals (or points)
first molar He teeth just behind the second bicuspids. These teeth have a level surfacewith four cuspals.
fissure Cleft-like grooves in the chewing surface of the back teeth
fissure sealants One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissuresis to seal them off with a special varnish called a pit and fissure sealant.If your dentist determines that you need a pit and fissure sealant to helpprotect your teeth from decay, some special steps are taken to prepare theteeth first
fistula An abnormal passage formed in the gum tissue through which an abscessedtooth drains
flared teeth A term used to indicate the position of the teeth. The upper teeth areflared lingually (toward the lip).
flipper A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period forlong term treatment.
floss A thread/tape goes in between teeth for cleaning.
flossing Flossing is an essential part of the tooth-cleaning process because itremoves plaque from between teeth and at the gumline, where periodontaldisease often begins
fluoride Topical application of a gel or liquid that prevents decay
Fluoride Treatment Teeth treat with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to preventtooth decay.
fluorosis Discoloration of the enamel due to excessive fluoride absorption (greaterthan one 1 part per million) into the bloodstream, also called enamelmottling
foramen An opening in bone
fornex Vault or arch shaped
fossa A shallow depression on the lingual (tongue) surfaces of some front teeth
Framework A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teethand the plastic attachments.
free gingiva The marginal part of the gingival (gums) that can be deflected from thetooth surface; it forms a collar around the tooth
frenum Small pieces of pink colored skin that attach your lips, cheeks and tongueto your mouth. Examples include the piece of skin under your tounge whichsticks out when you pick up your tongue, and the piece of skin which sticksout when you pull out your lips.
front teeth See ANTERIOR TEETH
full mouth x-rays X-rays showing all the teeth. Includes 14 periapicals and 4 bitewings, alsoknown as a complete series
furcation An area where the root divides
furrow A groove
galvanic current A current of electricity produced by chemical action between two metalssuspended in liquid
gender rule When a child is covered under both parent\’s plans, the father\’s plan isbilled first (in cases of divorce or separation other factors must beconsidered)
general anesthesia Relieves the sensation of pain
general dentist Primary care provider for patients in all age groups
geriatric dentist General dentist who primarily treats senior citizens
gingiva The soft tissue surrounding teeth, also known as the gums
gingival crest The prominent edge of occlusal or incisal gingiva
gingival hypertrophy The abnormal enlargement of the gingiva surrounding the teeth caused by poororal hygiene.
gingivectomy The removal of soft tissue surrounding the tooth; typically used in thetreatment of periodontal disease
gingivitis The inflammation of your gums caused by improper brushing. The first sign ofperiodontal (gum) disease.
goldon proportion The guidelines which dentists use in determining the most estheticappearance of a particular tooth (teeth need to maintain a certain height towidth ratio to look their best.
groove A long, narrow depression
gum The pink areas around your teeth
gum disease Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone thatsupports the teeth.
gutta percha Material used in the filling of root canals
handpiece The instrument used to hold and revolve burs in dental operations
heat-sterilizing Use of an autoclave or dry-heat sterilizer to kill all potentialdisease-causing agents that remain following patient treatment. Anyinstruments that is not heat stable and cannot tolerate high temperaturesshould be thoroughly cleaned and soaked in disinfectant chemicals
hemorrhage Bleeding
heterodont Different types of teeth within the same dentition (ie. incisors, canines,molars)
histo-differentiation Development into a specialized tissue
histology The study of tissues
homeostasis Stop bleeding.
homodont The presence of only one type of tooth in the dentition
hyperplasia Over-growth of a part; an increase in the number of cells
hypersensitivity A sharp, sudden painful reaction in teeth when exposed to hot, cold,chemical, mechanical or osmotic (sweet or salt) stimuli
ideal occlusion A complete harmonious relationship of the teeth and masticatory system
iintraoral Inside your mouth
immediate denture A complete or partial denture made before the natural teeth are extracted
impacted tooth An unerupted tooth that somehow has gotten stuck and cannot come in.
Impaction A condition that a tooth is not able to come in normally or stuck underneathanother tooth or bone.
impaction An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that will not fully erupt into themouth because of an obstruction
implant A replacement for one of your missing teeth. The implant is different than abridge in that the implant is permenantly attached into your jaw.
Impression A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.; height: 40px;\“A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.
impression tray Formed in the general shape of the mouth, used for taking impressions
incentive program A dental plan where the percentage of benefits increase each year as thepatient receives regular, annual dental care (preventive treatment). If thepatient fails to go to the dentist each year, the percentage drops back towhere it started
Incisal The cutting edge of front teeth.
incisal edge The cutting edge, ridge, or surface of anterior teeth
incisors The central and lateral incisors; the first and second teeth from themidline of the mouth
inclination The angle of the long axis of a tooth from a particular line of reference;the tilt or tip of a tooth.
inlay A restoration (usually is gold, composite or ceremics) fabricated in the labcements on tooth like a missing puzzle. It helps to restore the normalfunction and outlook of the tooth.
inlay A gold, porcelain, or composite custom-made filling cemented into the tooth.If it covers the tips of the teeth, it is called an onlay
insertion The movable end of a muscle
intercuspation Interlocking; a cusp-to-fossa relationship of the maxillary to mandibularteeth
interdental brushing It is important to use dental floss, or interdental brushes, to clean fooddebris and plaque from between your teeth. Brushing on its own will onlyclean around 60% of each tooth\’s surface area.The two main methods ofcleaning in between your teeth (interdental) are by using dental floss (ortape), or an interdental brush.Your dentist or hygienist can show you thecorrect interdental cleaning techniques, and recommend which method is mostsuitable for your needs
interocclusal registration A wax bite which is used to see how your teeth come together
Interproximal The space in between two adjacent teeth.
interproximal The space between two adjacent surfaces
interproximal stripping Reduction of the enamel of the teeth on both sides of the tooth. Thisprocedure is preformed to create space for crowded teeth.
intraoral Inside your mouth. For example, orthodontic rubber bands are calledintraoral products since the rubber bands are designed to go in your mouth.
intrusion Movement of a tooth back into the bone.
invagination To enclose within
invisalign The system is a way to move teeth without the use of conventional bracketsand archwires. Basically, a series of clear plastic trays are computerfabricated with each tray gradually shifting the teeth into properalignment. The system works best for minor tooth movements
iontophor The process of introducing a drug through the dental enamel by use of anelectrical current; often used in the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity
irrigation The technique of using a solution to wash out your mouth and to flushdebris.
jaw A common name for the maxilla or mandible
labial The tooth surface next to your lips or things mounted on the tooth surfacesnext to your lips.
laminate veneer A porcelain, or composite covering which is bonded to restore discolored, ordamaged teeth
lateral The teeth just adjacent to the centrals.
least cost alternative An insurance policy clause that allows the insuring company to pay for theleast expensive treatment
lesion Any wound or local degeneration
lingual The tooth surface next to your tongue or things mounted on the toothsurfaces next to your tongue.
lingual appliances Orthodontic appliance fixed to the inside of your teeth. i.e. Lingualappliances are attached to the part of your teeth next to your tongue.
lingual arch An orthodontic wire attached from molar to molar in the inside of yourteeth.
lingual retainers A variation of the lingual arch going from cuspids to cuspid.
lobe Center of tooth formation
local anesthesia Relieves the sensation of pain in a localized area
malocclusion Any deviation from the ideal positioning of the teeth or jaws
mamelon Small elevations of enamel present on the incisors as they erupt
managed care plans Plans that restrict the type, level, and frequency of treatment; these planslimit access to care and control the level of service reimbursement (ie.DMO\’s, Capitation plans, and Closed Panel plans)
mandible Your lower jaw
mandibular Pertaining to your lower jaw
maryland bridge A type of Bonded Bridge. Its main difference from conventional bridges is inthe reduced amount of abutment preparation necessary. Only the lingualsurfaces of the abutments are reduced
masticate To chew your food and mix the food with saliva
masticatory system The teeth and surrounding structures: jaws, temporomandibular joint,muscles, lips, and tongue
maxilla Your upper jaw
maxillary Pertaining to your upper jaw
medial Relating to the middle or medial plane
mental Relating to the chin
mercury A metal, component of amalgam fillings
mesial Forward or front. For example your cuspid is mesial to you bicuspid. Themesial surface of your bicuspid is the part of the bicuspid closest to yourcuspid.
micro abrasion A drill-free technique using an instrument resembling a tiny sand blasterthat delivers tiny aluminum oxide particles to the surface of teeth
midline Imaginary line through the middle of an object which divides it into twoequal parts
mixed dentition The situation when both deciduous and permanent teeth are present.
molar The last 3 upper and lower teeth on both side of the mouth.
molar The first, second and third molars; these are the sixth, seventh and eighthteeth from the center of the mouth, respectively
mouthguard A device that is used to protect your mouth from injury when you areparticipating in sports. The use of a mouthguard is especially important fororthodontic patients, to prevent injuries.
mucosa The thin, outer pink or red membrane lining the inside of the oral cavity
nasal Relating to the nose
neoplasm A proliferation of cells interfering with surrounding tissues; refers tocancer
neuron A nerve cell
nicotine patches Typically worn for 24 hours over several weeks, supplying a steady flow ofnicotine. The main brands include: Habitrol, Nicoderm, Nicotrol and Prostep.Over the course of treatment the amount of nicotine in the patch graduallydecreases. Studies have shown that this method has approximately a 25 %success rate
nightguard A removable acrylic appliance to minimize the effects of grinding (bruxism)and TMJ associated
numerical notation for teeth The numerical notation for teeth is an alternate to Palmer\’s notation. Inthis notation, the centrals are designated as 1\’s, the laterals as 2\’s, thecuspids as 3\’s, the first bicuspids as 4\’s, the seond bicuspid\’s as 5\’s,etc.
oblique ridge A linear elevation that transverses a surface
occlude To bring together
occlusal Relating to the biting surface of teeth
occlusal equilibration Process of refining and perfecting the occlusion
occlusal guard See NIGHTGUARD
occlusal plane The imaginary surface on which upper and lower teeth meet
occlusal radiograph The only x-ray that is taken without a precision(tm) x-ray holder. The x-rayfilm for this procedure is shaped like a large oatmeal cookie. You are askedto bite on the x-ray film and the top of the x-ray machine is positionedover your nose for a maxillary occlusal x-ray or under your chin for amandibular occlusal film. The x- ray shows the whole arch.
occlusal trauma Results from excessive force placed on a normal dentition, i.e. grinding andclenching of teeth. If left uncontrolled, occlusal trauma may result inrapid attachment loss and bone destruction
occlusion The relationship of the teeth in a closed position in both the maxillary andmandibular arch
onlay A laboratory processed restoration made of metal, porcelain or acrylic thatreplaces one or more of cusps of a tooth
opaquing Covering the metal work of a with a material so that it doesn\’tshow through
open bite A malocclusion in which the teeth do not close or come together in the frontof your mouth
oral Pertaining to the mouth.
oral and maxillofacialsurgeon Treats and surgically corrects diseases, injuries and defects of the mouthand jaws
oral cavity The mouth
oral pathologist Examines oral tissues for evidence of suspected abnormalities such as cancer
oral surgery (o.s.) Surgery of the mouth
origin The fixed end of a muscle
orthodontic removableappliances A removable brace – this is sometimes used for correcting a simple problem,such as moving a single tooth or expanding the dental arch. It has a plasticbaseplate with wires and springs attached. Removable braces need to be wornall the time except for cleaning or sport
orthodontia Braces
orthodontic fixed appliances A fixed brace – this is the most common type of brace today, often known as\“train tracks\“. Brackets are glued onto the teeth and linked by wires. Smallelastic hoops are often used to hold the wire in position. The wires exertgentle pressure to move the teeth into a new position. The brackets can bemetal, ceramic or even gold and the elastic hoops come in many colours
orthodontics The treatment preformed to correct your bite and make your smile lookwonderful.
orthodontist A dentist who has been specially trained to do orthodontics.
orthodontist Designs and applies corrective and supportive appliances, braces, to realigncrooked teeth
osteoblasts Cells which aid the growth and development of teeth and bones.
osteoclasts Cells which help create the sockets in bones. For example osteoclasps createthe openings in your jaw bone to hold your teeth.
overbite Vertical overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower.
overdenture An overdenture is a type of denture that is secured by precision dentalattachments. The attachments are placed in tooth roots or dental implants,which have been placed specifically for the overdenture attachment. Types ofoverdentures include bar joint dentures and telescopic dentures
overhang The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity.
overjet Horizontal projection of upper teeth beyond the lower.
palatal surface The surface of the maxillary teeth nearest the palate
palate Roof of the mouth
panoramic Radiograph An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and theirassociated structures.
panorex A single, large x-ray taken outside of the mouth that shows all the teeth onone film
partial denture A removable appliance that replaces some of the teeth in either the upper orlower jaw
passive eruption Describes the process by which teeth continue to erupt into the mouth astooth structure is lost to attrition and wear
pathogens Disease producing organisms that can exist in many different places. (e.g.:Air, dust, counter top surfaces, the body, etc.)
pathology The study of abnormal (diseased) tissue conditions.
pedodontics (pedo) The treatment of children\’s teeth
pedodontist (pedo) A dentist who specializes in the treatment of children\’s teeth.
pellicle The first step in plaque formation; a clear, thin covering containingproteins and lipids (fats) found in saliva. It is formed within secondsafter a tooth surface is cleaned
Perforation An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.
periapical X-ray of individual teeth or groups of teeth.
periapical An x-ray that shows the whole tooth, also known as a single film or P.A
periapical abscess Infection of the pulp of the tooth and tissues surrounding the base of thetooth
pericoronitis Infection of the tissue overlying a partially erupted tooth. Treatmentinvolves keeping this tissue clean and free of bacteria
periodontal Pertaining to your gums. For example periodontal desiese is gum disease.
periodontal charting Measures the pocket depth resulting from attachment loss between the gumsand teeth
periodontal ligament The fibers which suspend the tooth in the bony socket; it is attached at oneend to the cementum, and at the other end to the alveolar bone of the socket
periodontal maintenance Cleaning of the teeth following periodontal treatment, includes periocharting
periodontal pocket The pocket that forms when the gums lose attachment from the teeth
periodontal probe A dental instrument used to measure pocket depth
periodontal prophy See Periodontal Maintenance
periodontal recall See Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontics A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment ofsupporting unit of teeth.
periodontist Diagnoses and treats diseases of the tissues supporting and surrounding theteeth, especially periodontal, gum, diseas
periodontitis A form of periodontal disease affecting adults resulting in destruction ofalveolar bone
periodontium The structures that surround and support the teeth
permanent dentition See PERMANENT TEETH
permanent teeth Adult\’s teeth. The first permanent tooth usually comes in around 6 yearsold.
phonetics Production of sounds
pin A piece of \“nail-like\“ metal. It usually is used for better retention of afilling.
pit A pinpoint depression in the occlusal surface od a tooth
plaque Is a colorless, odorless, sticky substance containing acids and bacteriathat causes tooth decay.
plaster of paris Gypsum, used to make models of teeth
polish A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.
polishing A dental procedure that removes stain, plaque and acquired pellicle by usingan abrasive polishing paste in a rubber cup attached to a slow-speedhandpiece
polyphyodont Possessing several sets of teeth during a lifespan
pontic The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.
porcelain A tooth-colored sand like material; much like enamel in appearance
porcelain veneer Ultra-thin shells of ceramic material bonded to the front of the tooth
post A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal orcarbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.
posterior An adjective used to describe things pertaining to the back of your mouth oryour back teeth.
posterior teeth Your bicuspids and molars. These are the teeth in the back of your mouth.
postpalatal seal An elevation of material on the back (tissue side) of a denture; for thepurpose of sealing the denture
pre-authorization An approval from the particular authority (usually insurance company indentistry) before any action (treatment) is carried out.
predetermination The doctor notifies the insurance company beforehand of the intendedtreatment and the insurance company estimates the benefits that will bepaid.
preferred providerorganization (ppo) A plan where the patient can go to any dentist they choose, or they canchoose a preferred dentist and receive discounted fees. These plans arelisted on our system as Preferred and Non Preferred
pre-medication Medication needs to be taken before treatment.
premolar The two teeth located in front of the molar.
prescription A written statement (from a doctor to a pharmacist) regarding the type, theamount and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry,prescription can also be a written statement on preparation of an appliancefrom a dentist to a lab technician
preventive A procedure performed to aid in preventing decay and/ or gum disease
primary plan When a patient is covered by two insurance plans, the plan that is billedfirst is the primary plan
primary teeth The first set of teeth which come in. Primary teeth are also called \“babyteeth\“ or deciduous teeth.
primate spacing The normal spacing between primary anterior teeth
procera Procera is a type of Porcelain Crown. They are one of the strongestall-porcelain crowns available. Procera\’s framework is computer generated;porcelain is then added to the structure
proper occlusion A beautiful smile where all of your teeth are straight and your top teethline up with your bottom teet
prophylaxis A general meaning to clean the teeth, also known as a prophy
prophylaxis/prophy The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases.
An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associatedstructures.
prosthetics A fixed or removable appliance used to replace missing teeth (ie. bridges,partials, and dentures)
Prosthodontics A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, treatment planning, andfabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and theirassociated structures.
prosthodontist Constructs artificial appliances designed to restore and maintain oralfunction by replacing missing teeth and other oral structures such asdenture
proximal Refers to the surfaces of teeth that touch the next tooth; the space betweenadjacent teeth is the interproximal space.
proximal surface The surface of the tooth adjacent to the next tooth; refers to the mesialand distal surfaces
public health dentist Concerned with the dental health needs of entire communities, and can designand administer large-scale prevention and dental care programs by compilingand analyzing statistic
pulp The inner most part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels insidea tooth.
pulp canal Another name for the pulp chamber
pulp chamber The very inner part of your tooth containing nerve cells and blood vessels.
pulp horn The portion of the pulp chamber that extends towards the cusp
pulp tissue The soft (not calcified) tissue in the pulp chamber; composed of bloodvessels and nerves
pulpectomy The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.
pulpotomy The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth.
quadrant Denotes one of four equal sections in the mouth. The upper right, upperleft, lower right or the lower left
quadrants The four parts of your mouth, that is the upper left, the upper right, thelower left, and the lower right
radiograph Another name for an x-ray
radiosurgery Surgical technique that uses radio waves to produce a pressureless,bloodless incision
raphe A union of soft tissue
rebase Process where only the tissue surface of a denture is replaced by newmaterial
recall The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.
recementation The process of \“glue\“ the appliance/ back on the associated area.
relative value schedule (rvs) Procedures are given a point value based upon their degree of difficulty.Each procedure is also assigned a given a dollar amount. The dollar amountis then multiplied by the point value to determine what the insurancecompany will pay
resin filling See COMPOSITE FILLING
resorb To dissolve into the tissue
restoration An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an areain the mouth. It can be a filling, a crown, a bridge, etc.
restorations Any replacement for lost tooth structure or teeth (ie. bridges, fillings,crowns and implants)
restorative dentistry Process of restoring missing, damaged or diseased teeth to normal form andfunction
retainer A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw inorthodontic treatment.
retainer A removable appliance used to maintain teeth in a given position (usuallyworn at night)
retreatment The process of repeating the root canal treatment.
retruded A term used when your front teeth are slated lingually (i.e. toward the backof your mouth).
ridge A linear elevation
root The part of your tooth in your gums
root canal therapy (rct) Procedure used to save an abscessed tooth in which the pulp chamber iscleaned out, disinfected, and filled with a permanent filling
root canal treatment Root canal or endodontic treatment removes infected or damaged tissue frominside a tooth. This tissue, called the pulp, contains nerves and bloodvessels that help nourish the tooth. After the pulp is removed, the pulpchamber and root canals arc cleaned, disinfected, filled and sealed
root planing The action of cleaning on the root area of teeth.
root trunk That portion of the root that is not bifurcated or trifurcated
rotation A movement in which the tooth turned along the long axis of the tooth.
rubber dam A rubber sheet that fits around teeth. It isolates the treatment area fromthe rest of the oral cavity.
rugae Elevated folds or wrinkles of soft tissue in the front part of the palate
sagittal plane An imaginary longitudinal vertical plane that divides the mouth into twohalves (left and right.
sanitization A cleaning process which reduces germs to a \“safe\“ level.
scaling The action of cleaning of teeth below the gumline.
sealant A thin layer of plastic-like material covers the grooves and pits on a toothto prevent cavity.
second bicuspid He teeth just behind the first bicuspids. These teeth also have two cuspals(or points)
second molar The teeth just behind the first. These teeth also have a level surface withfour cuspals.
secondary plan When a patient is insured by two plans, the plan that is billed second isthe secondary plan
secondary teeth Your permenant teeth, i.e. the second group of teeth to come in.
sedation TThe use of medication to calm down a patient.
sedation intravenous Your dentist may recommend an intravenous or IV sedation. This is given byinjection, either in the back of your hand or in your arm. The dose willdepend on the amount of treatment needed and the length of time it will taketo complete
signature on file The insured person signs a form stating that the payments made by thecarrier go to the dentist. This form expires 1 year from the date it issigned
single film See PERIAPICAL
sloughing A condition in which the gingival tissue deadens and peels away from theliving tissue
snoring devices Anti-snoring devices range from the very simple, to the somewhat complex.The majority of devices are available in pharmacies or through direct mail(postal or Internet/e-commerce)
socket A cavity in the bone, see ALVEOLUS
soft palate The back 1/3 of the roof of the mouth composed of soft tissue
somatic Nerves that supply muscles
sonicare Electric toothbrush. Vibrates at over 31,000 brush strokes per minute. Mostmodels offer a
space maintainer A gadget used to maintain a space in your mouth. You would use a spacemaintainer when you lose one of your baby teeth. The space maintainer willkeep a space in your mouth until a permenant tooth comes in to fill thespace.
spee The curve of spee is the curvature of the occlusal plane of the teeth.
spillway See EMBRASURE
splint An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.
stain, extrinsic Stain located on the outside of the tooth surface originating from externalsubstances such as tobacco, coffee, tea or food; usually removed bypolishing the teeth with an abrasive prophylaxis paste
stain, intrinsic Stain originating from the ingestion of certain materials or chemicalsubstances during tooth development, or from the presence of caries. Thisstain is permanent and cannot be removed
sterilization A process where a medical material is treated to remove all possible germsand other forms of life
submucosa The layer of tissue under the mucous membrane
succedaneous A tooth that replaces or succeeds another
sulcus A broad depression on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth
supergingival The area above the gingival margin
supernumerary teeth Extra teeth, in addition to the development of the normal 32
surgical template A clear tray used in immediate denture fabrication
suture A joining of two bones, also stitches
tartar Another name for calculus
teeth whitening Tooth whitening is a procedure that lightens teeth and helps to removestains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmeticdental procedures because it can significantly improve the appearance ofyour teeth at much less cost and inconvenience than other techniques. Themajority of dentists perform tooth whitening
teething Baby teeth pushing through gums
temporomandibular joint(tmj) Temporo (temporal bone), mandibular (lower jaw). This is the connectinghinge between the lower jaw and base of the skull. Also known as T.M.J..T.M.J. treatment is sometimes paid under medical
terminal mesial step The position of a vertical plane along the distal surfaces when thedeciduous second molars are in Class I position
terminal plane The distal surfaces of the maxillary and mandibular deciduous second molarsthat are on the same line or plane
third molar The teeth just behind the second molars. These teeth also have a levelsurface with four cuspals.
tipping A tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped labially (lip) orlingually (tongue) to correct the angle of the crown of the tooth.
tmd Temporomandibular disorder; a problem with the joint that connects the lowerjaw with the skull. Typically associated with a pop and pain in the joint
tmj An abreviation for the \“temporomandibular joint\“ The \“temporomandibularjoint\“ is the joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull.
tooth brushes Ideal features of a toothbrush Not too large – length of top joint of thumb,Medium texture.Multi Multi-tufted simple straight handle lasts for 6 6-8week
tooth extraction Having a tooth extracted is the same as having an operation and, because ofthis, you must look after the area to speed healing and to reduce the riskof infection
topical Applied directly to an infected area for treatment
torque The rotation of a tooth on the long axis moving the root of the tooth in abuccal or labial direction.
torus An outgrowth on bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or aroundthe premolar area on the lower jaw.
tracing (cephalometric) An overlay drawing traced over a cephalometric x-ray that shows specificstructures and landmarks that provided a basis for orthodontic therapy.
traction The act of drawing or pulling the teeth.
translation A tooth movement in which the entire tooth moves forward or backward withouttipping or rotating.
transverse ridge A linear elevation that crosses a surface (usually the occlusal surface)
treatment card A sheet of paper or special index card used to record your treatmentprogress.
triangular ridge A linear elevation that forms a triangle
trifurcation Forked or divided into three parts
tubercle A small, rounded projection
tuberosity A large, rounded projection
typodont A plastic model of a typical mouth, showing the alignment of teeth. Atypodont is used to teaching orthodontic procedure
ultrasonic The conversion of high frequency electrical current into mechanicalvibrations
universal numericalnotation The universal numerical notation is an alternative numerical notation forteeth. In this notation, your upper right third molar is designated astooth#1, and then you number each tooth sequentially moving right to leftand down across your mouth.
ventral The underside, used when speaking of the tongue; thus the ventral surface ofthe tongue is the underside of the tongue
vermilion Red
virgin teeth Teeth that are free from decay or restorations
wax bite A procedure to measure how well your teeth come together. You bite a sheetof wax and leave bitemark in the wax. The orthodontist looks at thebitemarks to see how well your teeth are aligned.
white fillings Most people have fillings of one sort or another in their mouths. Nowadaysfillings are not only functional, but can be natural looking as well. Manypeople don’t want silver fillings that show when they laugh or smile becausethey are more conscious about the way they look.
wisdom tooth The eighth (also the last tooth) tooth from the middle of the jaw.
xerostomia Dry mouth

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