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Glossary Of Dental Terms
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abrasionAn abrasion is an injury that results for scraping or wearing away at the tissue in the mouth. This could be caused by injury to the mouth or the use of dental appliances.
abscess An abscess is any collection of pus and/or debris that grows in tissue - an abscess is generally pink to red in color, normally presenting with swelling, inflammation and tenderness. An abscess can present for any number of reasons in any part of the body, including the mouth.
abutment A bridge or part of a structure that is involved with some dental procedure, specifically tooth implants and surgical procedures, that is needed to fix or cosmetically repair a person's dental health or appearance.
abutment crown The replacement tooth that has a connector attached to it to help connect it to the tooth that is having the crown fitted on it.
acid etching Acid Etching is the process of using of an acidic chemical substance to strip enamel or dentin off of the tooth to prepare the surface for bonding.
acute periradicularacute apical abscess Acute Periradicularacute Apical Abcess is an infection in the root of a tooth. It causes a lot of pain and typically is accompanied by fever and swelling. It happens when bacteria gets into the root which can be because the tooth is damaged or unhealthy.
adhesive The procedure of applying any substance to the surfaces of materials that binds them together to avoid separation between the same is called adhesive. Here a molecular force that exists in the area of contact between unlike bodies.
adjunctive Adjunctive is a secondary treatment in addition to the primary treatment. Depending on the insurance coverage, these secondary treatments could be flouride treatments in adults, gum care, or nutrition counseling.
adolescent dentition Adolescent dentition refers to the stage of permanent dentition but prior to the stage where the teeth stop growing - adult dentition.
adult dentition Adult dentition is another name for the adult teeth that replace adolescent teeth that fall out over the course of puberty. These teeth are expect to last the rest of the person's lifetime.
allograft Allograft involves taking tissue from a donor and placing it in a recipient during a medical procedure. A dentist may transfer fragments of bone from one person to another if the process is applicable to a patient's condition.
alloplastic Alloplastic refers to a material that is not biological, it is man-made, such as metal or ceramic or plastic. These materials are used medically for making implants or prosthetics.
alloy A combination of two or more metals or a composed material of a metal and a nonmetal is called an alloy. It may be a single phase or a mixture of metallic phases or an inter metallic compound without any boundary between the phases.
alveolar Alveolar is relating to the jaw section that contains tooth sockets. Also known as the roof of the mouth between the upper teeth and the hard palate or on the bottom of the mouth behind the lower teeth.
alveolar bone Commonly known as the tooth socket, the alveolar bone is the main support for teeth, anchoring them to both the upper and lower jaws by a tissue called cementum.
alveolar process The alveolar process is the part of the mouth that contains the tooth sockets. It is a thickened ridge of bone and is also called the "alveolar ridge." In humans, the alveolar processes are the maxillae and the mandible.
alveoloplasty Alveoloplasty - often referred to as "bone trimming", alveoplasty is a surgical procedure which smooths out the sharp areas of the jawbone that commonly occur after multiple tooth extractions.
alveolus Alveolus are also called tooth sockets where the roots of the teeth are located in the jaw bone held in place by the periodontal ligament.
amalgam An alloy of different metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury which has been used for over 150 years in dentistry to fill cavities in teeth. Commonly referred to as "silver fillings" because of the color.
analgesia Analgesia is the act of controlling or eliminating pain during a dental procedure, either with pain medication, or other methods.
anatomical crown The natural, top part of a tooth which is covered in enamel and is the part that extends above the gum line.
anesthesia anesthesia is a medical procedure to control pain during surgery. It is a temporary state consisting of unconsciousness, painless, loss of memory and muscle relaxation.
ankylosis A dental abnormality in which the tooth becomes fused directly to the jawbone, which prevents the tooth from erupting. The cause of ankylosis is unknown, and can occur in both baby teeth and permanent teeth.
anomaly An anomaly is usually defined as something that deviates from the standard, normal or expected.
ansi ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. It oversees the creation and use of many guidelines that impact businesses all around the world.
anterior Anterior- The term anterior is usually used when referring to the teeth, specifically the incisors and canines. It refers to the direction of the root tip of the tooth.
anxiolysis Anxiolysis refers to the state of a patient experiencing mild sedation in the mouth prior to a dental operation. It is achieved either by local anesthetics applied via injection, or administered in gaseous form.
apex Apex is the end or the last part of the root in a tooth. It can also be defined as the extremity or the terminal portion of the root.
apexification Apexification is the process of promoting closure of the root in a treated tooth using calcium hydroxide paste or other tissue-tolerant material in the root canal after a root canal..
apexogenesis A pulp therapy procedure that is used to help promote healthy growth and development of a tooth's root end. It assists with the proper formation of the root.
apicoectomy An apicoectomy is a dental procedure in which a tooth's tip is removed and a cavity that has set itself into the root is removed and filled with a safe material.
arch The dental arch refers to one of the two arrangements of teeth located in the human jawbone. Each arch is a crescent arrangement of teeth, one in the lower jaw (mandibular arch) and one in the upper jaw (maxilliary arch).
areas of oral cavity Areas of oral cavity are the inside of the mouth. It's mainly the empty space behind the teeth and gums, but the inside of the mouth is the entire oral cavity.
arthrogram An arthrogram is the procedure of injecting a substance and then x-ray to a bone structure to allow an examination of possible problems that are found.
artificial crown An artificial crown is used to repair a broken, or damaged tooth. The crown may be placed over a large filling or a broken tooth, or may be needed if the patient has had a root canal.
autogenous graft A bone graft from the patient himself, as opposed to a cadaver, bovine or bone substitute. A bone graft is usually performed for the purpose of building a better foundation for dental implants.
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benign Benign is a medical term used to describe an object or growth that is not immediately harmful to the body. It is the opposite of malignant.
bicuspid A bicuspid is a type of tooth characterized by having two cusps, or points. This generally refers to human premolars. Bicuspid is another name for the human premolars, of which there are usually eight total, two in each quadrant, and they are positioned between the canines and molars.
biologic materials Biologic materials refers to living or formerly living tissue, muscles, cells, etc, like skin or bones.
biopsy In dentistry, a biopsy consists of removing an area of soft tissue inside the mouth in order to help diagnose a lesion that has no obvious cause.
bitewing radiograph A bitewing radiograph refers to an image, produced utilizing radiation (generally a standard X-ray), specific to the bitewing view of the mouth. The bitewing radiograph allows the dentist or technician to examine the bone condition of the crowns of the posterior teeth and alveolar bone.
bleaching A procedure in dentistry that assists in whitening teeth.
bonding In dental terms bonding is most likely the least expensive cosmetic procedure and one of the easiest. Resin, is a compound that can be shaped and formed to a tooth that may have a chip, crack, hole and even gaps. It adheres nicely to the tooth and can be done by most all dentists.
bridge A dental bridge refers to the process of creating a bridge over a gap in the teeth, usually from one or more missing teeth.
bruxism Bruxism is the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw. It is an oral para functional activity. It is unrelated to normal function such as eating or talking.
buccal Buccal means relating to the mouth, or relating to the cheek. For example, the buccal surface of the tooth is the part of the tooth that touches the cheek, as opposed to the palatal surface of the tooth, which would be the side of the tooth that touches the tongue.
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calculus A form of a hardened dental plaque on an individual's teeth, which is also referred to as tartar, that develops overtime due to various reasons such as poor hygiene or diet.
canal The space and area between the tooth's root in a person's mouth that is usually involved with some dental procedures such as a root canal and other surgeries involving the mouth.
cantilever extension A dental procedure that involves a surgery using a device that helps with fixing the gaps in between missing teeth in a person's mouth for health and cosmetic reasons.
caries A form of tooth decay and deterioration of oral health that is due to an infection from a bacterial origin in a person's mouth that causes the demineralization and destruction of hard tissues.
cariogenic Cariogenic is defined as something that would cause tooth decay. Dentists typically suggest that you avoid cariogenic substances or brush thoroughly after consuming these foods.
castdiagnostic caststudy model It is a dental impression made of a full set of teeth. It is used to help make future sets of dentures, or to help make replacements for partials as well. They can also be used in cases of helping to figure out how to repair damages from congenital defects or accidents.
cavity A cavity is a decayed section of a tooth. Cavities can typically be filled, however can require more invasive procedures such as root canals depending upon the severity.
cement base Cement base is a dental alternative to mercury when it comes to teeth fillings. Cements can be made out of various compounds, the most popular including Calcium Hydroxide and Glass/Hybrid Ionomers.
cementum A thin layer of a bone like substance that covers the root, and sometimes other parts of a tooth. Also known as cement, this substance is yellow and not as hard as enamel.
cephalometric image Computer generated image used to regenerate a tooth to fit the mouth the exact way the teeth would fit in a patients mouth before surgery.
chronic periradicularchronic periapical abscess Chronic abscesses result from inflammation and infection of a tooth. Periradicular abscesses originate at some point along the tooth root while periapical refers specifically to an infection around the root tip.
cleft lip A cleft lip is a birth defect found in newborn children. The cleft refers to a gap that develops on the top lip, creating a space that splits the top lip into two visible parts.
cleft palate Cleft palate is a condition in which the two plates of the skull that form the hard palate (roof of the mouth) are not completely joined and occurs in about 1 in 700 live births worldwide
clenching Clenching is the act of pressing the teeth together with force. This is typically done out of anger or to suppress some other emotion.
clinical crown A reproduction of a part of top of a person's tooth that is used to cover a missing area of said tooth to prevent further deterioration of the area due to constant use and aging.
closed panel In the staff model, physicians are salaried and have offices in HMO buildings. In this case, physicians are direct employees of the HMOs. This model is an example of a closed-panel HMO, meaning that contracted physicians may only see HMO patients.
closed panel A closed panel is a type of HMO, health maintenance organization, where the user selects their primary physician and/or dentist. The physician or dentist can then recommend other specialists as needed that are in or out of the system.
closed reduction Closed reduction is a procedure to reduce or set a broken bone without surgery. This allows the bone to grow back together without any issue after several days to get into its normal condition.
complete denture A reproduction of a persons teeth meant to replace said individual's missing teeth, so that the individual can eat normally with no problems. This is also done for cosmetic reasons.
complete series A complete series refers to a full set of x-rays including all bitewings and periapical films. These are usually completed yearly and are used as a basis for developing a treatment plan.
composite A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements.
compound fracture This is a type of fracture where a bone is coming out of the skin and protruding. Compound fractures specifically cause a wound because they break skin.
comprehensive oral evaluation A procedure that involves examining a patient's overall dental health, making sure that there are no issues and problems with said patient that need to be addressed.
comprehensive periodontal evaluation A comprehensive periodontal evaluation is basically an annual oral check-up. It is to examine your teeth, gums, bite, plaque, and risk factors and check for any signs of oral diseases or development of diseases. It is an evaluation of your periodontal health.
conscious sedation Conscious sedation is a medically controlled state of sedation during which the subject is kept from losing consciousness so that the airway, protective reflexes, and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands are preserved.
consultation A consultation in the medical field is a discussion between two or more physicians or medical professionals in order to determine the best diagnosis or best course of treatment for a particular patient.
coping Coping is a small metal cap or piece that is put over a person's tooth before a crown or cap is placed. It helps prepare the tooth for this procedure and can also be used on the root of a tooth is needed.
core buildup When a tooth needs a crown, but there is not enough material to build it; an additional section is made using artifical materials until it is big enough to hold onto the crown. In case there is an exposed nerve, other materials will be put in first to protect that part.
coronal Coronal in dental terms means in the direction of or relating to the crown of the tooth (as opposed to the root). A coronal polishing would entail a brushing and cleansing of the surfaces of the crowns of one's teeth.
cosmetic dentistry The term cosmetic dentistry can be defined the same way cosmetic surgery is defined. The person has elected to alter the appearance of a part of his/her body to resemble the ideal look that is accepted in society today. In this case it is altering the teeth by straightening and cleaning.
cracked tooth syndrome Cracked tooth syndrome involves a tooth that has incompletely cracked but no part of the tooth has been broken off. The symptoms are different from each other, it is totally depending upon the diagnosed condition.
crown A dental crown is a device used to cap a tooth. It covers the tooth to improve its appearance, strength and usability. A crown is cemented on and can be considered semi-permanent.
crown lengthening A surgical procedure performed by a dentist to expose a greater amount of tooth structure for the purpose of subsequently restoring the tooth is called Crown lengthening. This process is used to adjust the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
culture and sensitivity test The culture and sensitivity test is used to determine what is causing an illness and which antibiotics or medicine are they weakened by the worst. It is how we determine what cures a sickness.
curettage A curettage is a tool designed to scrape or scoop soft tissue from the mouth or other body part. In the mouth, it is used to scrape away tissue near the teeth to promote the growth of new, disease free tissue.
cusp A point on the grinding surface of a tooth.
cuspid A cuspid is a tooth with a single cusp or point. Cuspid is another name for human canine teeth. These teeth are located between the incisors and the first premolar, and are recognizable by their elongated and sharp appearance. Humans have four cuspids, or canine teeth, one in each dental quadrant.
cyst A cyst can be the size of a pea (a small lump) under the skin. They most likely come due to an infection. Its basically a small cluster of cells that have grouped together to form a small sac or bubble.
cytology Cytology is the study of cellular structure and their make up chemistry. It helps determine their function and is usually taken from tissue or fluid samples from the body. It can help diagnose diseases such as cancer and other ailments.
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debridement debridement is the removal of calculus and plaque that have been gathered around your teeth in order to keep your oral health in good condition and avoid tooth decay or tooth diseases.
decay Decay is defined as the process of a dead, rotted area on a tooth. It is also referred to as a dead tooth structure.
deciduous Deciduous or deciduous teeth are the teeth that grow during the first phase of teething period in a baby. It usually starts to grow at the age of 6 months to 2 1/2 years. These teeth total 20 in number, and are classified as incisors, canine and molar teeth. These teeth normally begin falling out at the age of 5 to 6 years.
deciduous dentition Deciduous teeth are commonly called baby teeth or primary teeth. Developing during the embryonic stage of development and become visible in the mouth during early childhood. These teeth are usually lost beginning at age 6 (approx) and are then replaced by permanent teeth.
deep sedation Deep sedation is a drug-induced level of consciousness in which patients cannot be easily woke up, but respond normally following painful or repeated stimulation. A patient's ability to breathe on their own may be impaired, but cardiovascular function is maintained normally.
definitive prosthesis A definitive prosthesis is a partial or full replacement of a permanent part of the body. In dental terms, an example of this might be a replacement for part of the soft palate or missing teeth.
dental assessment A dental assessment is an appointment that is scheduled to examine and identify potential signs of oral disease, tooth decay or injury. During the dental assessment, the patient may be referred to appropriate specialists for proper diagnosis and treatment.
dental implant A dental implant is a piece of material that is inserted into the existing bone to support an artificial tooth.
dental prophylaxis A dental prophylaxis is performed not only to clean the teeth, but also to evaluate the oral cavity for any other problems that might be present. The cleaning not only includes what you can see, but also the area under the gumline, which is the most important part. For this reason, non-anesthetic cleaning is not a viable option.
dental prosthesis A dental prosthesis is an artificial device used to correct dental defects such as missing teeth (or missing parts of teeth). They can also be used to replace missing soft or hard structures of the jaw and palate.
dental specialist A dental specialist is a chosen profession that focuses on the health and well being of your teeth. They are experts at determining if a tooth is in need of cleaning or removal of cavities. They also determine if a tooth is salvageable and if not help in the removal and replacement of said tooth.
dentin Dentin is the hard, dense, calcareous (made up of calcium carbonate) material that makes up the majority of the tooth underneath the enamel. It is harder and more dense than bone. It is one of four components that make up the tooth. It is the second layer of the tooth.
dentistry Dentistry is the study and treatment of diseases of the mouth. Dentistry covers many areas of oral care, including not only dental cavities but also areas such as gum disease and oral surgery.
dentition Dentition refers to the arrangement of teeth in the mouth, how many teeth are present in a certain species, and the types of teeth present. It can also refer to tooth development, often called "cutting teeth" or "teething."
denture Dentures are false teeth, historically made from a variety of materials. They are supported both by their own design and against both hard and soft tissues in the mouth. Dentures are also generally removed daily, as only a part-time replacement for missing teeth.
denture base A denture base is putting in a sound structure lining the gums that allow the dentures to fit and hold a good seal so that bacteria and plaque don't sit on the gums while the dentures are in place.
detailed and extensive oral evaluation A detailed and extensive oral evaluation includes a cleaning with flouride, a periodontal exam, and x-rays. A detailed medical and dental history is included as well as any medications the patient may be on is discussed at this time.
diagnostic cast A diagnostic cast is a replica of a patient's teeth that is created using an impression. The cast is then used as a diagnostic tool for the dental team.
diagnostic imaging Determining the type of imaging a doctor uses on a patient is called diagnostic imaging. It includes various types of scans and X-rays. Many these tests are painless and easy.
diastema Diastema is a space between the upper incisors. This occurs when there is an unequal relationship between the size of the teeth and the jaw.
direct pulp cap A technique used to directly apply a protective substance to the exposed pulp of a tooth cavity. It is used to prevent the pulp from decaying and having to perform a root canal.
direct pulp cap Direct pulp cap is one of two kinds of pulp capping. In direct pulp capping, the dentist exposes and removes all of the cavity in the tooth and immediately covers the pulp with a disinfecting agent.
direct restoration direct teeth restoration means restoring the missing tooth structure with the help of restorative material by a dentist. Usually it's done by in a clinical setup without the need for admission.
displaced tooth A tooth that has become misaligned either through trauma or a defect. The tooth will not have been completely knocked out but will be displaced, pushed forward or back, sideways or rotated.
distal This refers to the direction pointing to the last tooth in each dental arch quadrant.
dressing Dressing is defined as a covering to an open wound such as bandages, gauze or other measures used to prevent infection and bleeding.
dry socket It is a possible complication after having a tooth removed. The scab that covers the socket is removed, and leaves it exposed to everything. It can easily be infected afterwards. The dentist may have to pack it with something to encourage healing and prevent infection from setting in it.
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edentulous To be edentulous means to be toothless, without teeth, or is the result of tooth loss. Partial edentulous refers to only being without some teeth and complete edentulous refers to being completely toothless.
enamel Dental enamel is the hard thin translucent layer that serves as protection for the dentin of a tooth crown. It is made up of calcium salts.
endodontics The study of teeth that involve the center (pulp) to the root of a tooth. It focuses on cause of tooth decay, diagnosis and treatment of infected tooth. Treatment can include extraction of the tooth, removal and replacement of the pulp and even removal of the nerve by tooth.
endodontist Endodontists are doctor specialists that focus on doing special dental procedures regarding the teeth. The most common procedures that endodontists perform are root canals.
endosteal (endosseous) An endosteal, or endosseous, is a type of dental implant. It is an implant using a screw, blade, or pin that is inserted directly into the jawbone through the alveolar or basal bone, and then protrudes through the mucoperiosteum in order to support a prosthetic or artificial tooth.
enteral It typically involves the gastrointestinal tract, usually the small intestine. It sometimes involves the use of a feeding tube to the intestinal track when normal feeding is not possible.
eposteal (subperiosteal) Eposteal Implant,s also called Subperiosteal, are dental implants for patients who have no or little jaw bone. An Eposteal implant is the large devise that is custom made to fit the contours of the jaw bones. A surgical incision is made though the gum tissues to expose the bone, positioning the implant frame directly to the bone, and the gum tissues are stitched up over the framework through several stitches to hold a prosthetic device.
erosion Dental, or acid erosion is the eating away of enamel and dentin by foods and drinks with a low pH. Often thought to be caused by pop and certain fruit juices.
eruption Perforation of blood generally from the root of the tooth after an extraction, an extremely deep cavity, and/or untreated oral infection.
established patient An established patient is a patient that has been seen by a provider or another provider in the provider group within the previous three years. The patient has an established relationship with the practice.
evaluation A typical dental evaluation means when the dentist will go over your health to get an overall idea of what concerns you should have and to identify any possible problem areas in your oral hygiene.
evidence-based dentistry Evidence-based dentistry is the process of using current scientific evidence to guide dental decision making. This process examines a patient's oral health and compares it to established scientific data.
excision Excision is the process of surgically removing a tooth or connecting tissue at it's base from the jaw.
exfoliative Exfoliative describes the thin layer of skin or epidermis shed from the surface of the gum area.
extracoronal Extracoronal is outside the crown of a tooth.
extraction An extraction is the proper surgical removal of any particular item. In the framework of dentistry, this would perhaps most often refer to the extraction of teeth, perhaps due to severe damage or decay, severe traumatic injury to the tooth, or to reduce crowding.
extraoral Extraoral can mean on the outside of a tooth or cavity or it can refer to the outside of the mouth.
exudate When a liquid escapes from the body through the pores or a wound. The liquid usually contains many different materials in it, and sometimes contains pus from an infected area of the body. It can also leave a scab on a wound when it dries up.
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facial A procedure involving a variety of skin treatments is called facial. It allows us to protect our skin from various situations such as sun light, pollution and doing some other physical tired tasks in daily life.
filling A filling is a type of material that goes into a drilled or cleaned out tooth to restore its ability to be used regularly. Typically this is used after a root canal due to the opening left in a tooth.
fixed partial denture A fixed partial denture or bridge is an artificial tooth that replaces a missing one. It is either bonded to the adjacent, intact teeth, by dental cement, or by placing crowns on the adjacent teeth.
fixed prosthesis A fixed prosthesis is a dental area that focuses on permanent restoration of either single or groups of teeth. This can include crowns, veneers, bridges, inlays, and onlays.
fixed-removable prosthesis Fixed-removable prosthesis is a custom set of artificial teeth to replace missing or removed teeth. The fixed-removable prosthesis can be removed by the user to make cleaning easier.
foramen A foramen is a broad term that refers to any natural opening in a bone. This can be a short passage like the ear canal or be as open as an orifice like the mouth or nostril.
fracture Fracture is defined as an act of breaking something, such as a tooth or bony structure within the mouth.
frenum The frenum is the piece of skin that connects the lower lip to the lower jaw. It is also what the tissue that connect the tongue and lips to the gums.
full-mouth x-rays A procedure involving an x-ray machine that is used to assess a person's full dental health to make sure there are no underlying issues that need to be fixed and addressed.
furcation Bone loss as a result of tooth disease. It usually occurs at the root trunk of the tooth, where two or more roots come together.
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general anesthesia Medicine that is given to the patient as they go under for a specific type of surgery. It usually wears off the same day and is best used to help the patient not feel the pain of the work being done.
genetic test Genetic Test is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. Also help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.
gingiva They are the gums that help hold your teeth in place and help protect the teeth from any infection or damage from food and everyday interactions with the outer world.
gingival hyperplasia Gingival hyperplasia- Gingival hyperplasia is a condition marked by an overgrowth of gum tissue within the mouth. This is a common condition related to the drug phenytoin, which is used to treat epileptic seizures.
gingivectomy Gingivectomy-Is a surgical procedure done on the gums, it is done when someone suffers an extreme case of gingivitis that mostly likely causing other serious health conditions. A Gingivectomy will reshape the gums, remove the gingivitis and give your teeth a more natural shape.
gingivitis Gingivitis is a common type of gum disease. It can result in gums becoming red, swollen and irritated. It is caused by lack of proper dental care. It can lead to more serious gum issues and sometimes even loss of teeth. To prevent this, you should brush and floss daily and obtain regular dental checkups .
gingivoplasty Gingivoplasty- Gingivoplasty is a surgical procedure typically performed by a periodontist to reshape the healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Severe cases of gingivitis typically require this procedure.
glass ionomer A glass ionomer is the cement like restorative material that dentists use for dental fillings. It is similar to the natural color of teeth and has been used for over 40 years.
gold foil A material and substance used in the restoration of a person's tooth or teeth in specific areas that have been affected due to various reasons such as hygiene, trauma, and aging.
graft A surgical procedure to move tissue from one site to another on the body, or from another person without bringing its own blood supply with it. Sometimes it can be an artificially manufactured device.
guided tissue regeneration (gtr) Guided Tissue Regeneration (gtr) is an attempt to regenerate lost tissue due to dental procedures that did not take as expected. This process is attempted using different materials in hopes that the tissue will once again attach in the correct area to the affected areas.
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hemisection A Hemisection (literally "dividing in two") is a procedure that involves cutting a tooth with two roots in half. It's typically performed when decay or bone loss begins to occur in teeth.
high noble alloys A mixture of two or more metals containing at least 40%. In addition it must contain at least 60% of a combination of gold and platinum, palladum, osmium, iridium, ruthenium, or rhodium.
histopathology Histopathology - Histopathology refers to the practice of examining tissues on a microscopic level to examine for pathologies or other irregularities and disease. It would apply in reference to biopsies or other sampling.
hyperplastic Hyperplastic is when the number of cells in a given object grow within a given object. This can lead to an enlarged organ or benign tumor.
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immediate denture An immediate denture is a denture, either complete or partial, that is placed in the patients mouth immediately following the extraction of any remaining teeth.
impacted tooth An impacted tooth is a tooth that has failed to erupt through the gum and has grown improperly inside of the gum / jaw. This is a serious problem, and is usually only correctable via surgery.
implant An implant is a term used medically to describe a non human object put inside a persons body to alter their appearance while looking like a natural body part.
implantation, tooth A tooth implantation is a surgical procedure that implants a new tooth root into your jaw for the purpose of supporting an artificial replacement tooth or bridge. There are two types of tooth implantations: endosteal, which means a screw or blade is inserted into the jawbone, or subperiosteal, which is a metal framework that is placed over the jawbone and then protrudes through the gums.
incisal Incisal is described as an area including the biting edges of the incisor and cuspid teeth.
incisal angle The incisal angle is the angle formed by the junction of the surface of the mesial or distal when they come in contact. The incisal are the biting edges of the incisor and cuspid teeth.
incision and drainage A dental infection that leads to oral swelling requires 'incision and drainage', the act of cutting and releasing infectious fluids. If left untreated, these infections travel quickly through surrounding tissue and may even be fatal.
incisor Incisors are teeth towards the front of the mouth used to initially bite food.
indirect pulp cap An indirect pulp cap is a procedure to prevent an exposed tooth pulp from becoming inflammed due to exposure. It is a type of sedative placed on top of a thin layer of dentin.
indirect restoration Dental restoration is a technique of fabricating the restoration outside of the mouth using the dental impressions of the prepared tooth. They are then placed directly in the tooth.
inlay An inlay is a filling that is fitted on a tooth with a cavity. The inlay is made by creating a mold of the tooth impression and then cementing it into place over the tooth. Inlay's can be gold, silver or porcelain.
intentional reimplantation Intentional reimplantation is the removal of a tooth to conduct root canal therapy outside the patient's mouth and remedy apical lesions, when present, through curettage. The tooth is then placed back inside the socket. It is normally considered a last resort because the tooth could be damaged during removal.
interim prosthesis An interim prosthesis is any sort of temporary prosthetic. It is not designed for long term use, and is generally replaced as soon as possible by a permanent prosthesis.
interproximal This term refers to the spaces that are in between teeth. The gum will be between theses teeth. An orthodontist can correct this problem. They can do this by making you teeth narrower.
intracoronal Intracoronal refers to the interior of the tooth crown. Dental amalgams are intracoronal, as are partial dentures that fit inside of a remaining tooth or teeth.
intraoral Intraoral refers to the inside of the mouth. In dentistry, intraoral cameras are used to show patients images of the inside of their mouths so that they can check the problem spots their dentist is discussing to them.
intravenous sedation IV sedation puts the patient into a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what's going on. This type of sedation produces either partial or full memory loss from the time that it kicks in until the time that it wears off.
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jaw Skeletal structure making up the upper and lower frame of the mouth and containing the teeth. Jaw can also be used to describe the part of the face that covers these structures.
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keratin Keratin is a fibrous structural protein and is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin and is a main component of hair and nail.
keratinized gingiva Keratinized gingiva is one of two kinds of gingiva, or gum tissue, in the mouth. The keratinized gingiva is the gum tissue that surrounds the necks of the teeth. It is thick and protective, and not designed to be flexible.
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labial In a dentistry context, labial refers to the part of the teeth that faces the inside of the lip area of a persons face instead of the buccal area.
laminate veneer Laminate Veneers are super thin layers of porcelain created to look like a tooth. They are placed and bonded over the front teeth and serve as a cover up for discolored and damaged teeth.
lesion Open sore that can look like a laceration. Can be as small as a paper cut to 13 diameters with an unlimited length. Lesions can be found anywhere throughout the mouth, stomach, and intestinal track.
limited oral evaluation A limited oral evaluation is an examination or exam by a dentist for someone who is not a patient for the purpose of screening them for oral cancer, or to evaluate minors or members of limited means populations for possible dental or oral diseases or problems.
line angle In dentistry, a line angle refers to the area at which two surfaces of the crown of the tooth meet. It can also refer to the area at which two surfaces of a tooth cavity meet.
lingual Lingual is an adjective that refers to the tongue. It can be used with other anatomical terms to describe location: for example, sublingual means under the tongue.
local anesthesia Local anesthesia refers to an injection or application of an anesthetic drug that only affects a specific area of the body instead of the entire body like general anesthesia.
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maintenance, periodontal It is occasional teeth cleaning to make sure the teeth stay clean and healthy. It is often done 1-2 times a year. It is to prevent any tooth damage and possible loss.
malignant The word malignant in general refers to something that is infectious, virulent or malevolent. In the context of dentistry, it may refer to melanomas, lesions, neoplasts, etc. that are infectious, spreading or cancerous.
malocclusion Malocclusion is a misalignment of top and bottom teeth when the mouth is closed. The teeth opposite each other don't line up as they are supposed to. Malocclusion can most commonly be seen as an overbite or underbite.
mandible The mandible refers to the jaw or a jawbone. It is most commonly used when referring to the lower jawbone in mammals and fish.
mandibular canal The mandibular canal is an opening inside of the mandible which contains the inferior alveolar nerve, artery, and vein. Generally speaking, the molars are the closest to this canal.
maryland bridge A Maryland Bridge is defined as a permanent partial denture affixed to a retainer using resin as a bonding agent.
maxilla The maxilla is the upper jaw bone, and is formed by two bones that fuse together during a child's early development. Together, they form the upper palate and the upper jaw line.
medicament Medicament refers to any sort of substance used as a medicinal treatment. This would include injectable and oral medications, ointments, bandages, etc. Medicaments treat, cure, alleviate or prevent medical conditions.
mesial Mesial refers to the middle line of the body or the surface of a tooth; closer to the center of the dental arch.
metals, classification of The classification of metals in dentistry refers to the amount of alloys present in a particular metal, and the percentage of metal content. This also classifies metals by bio-compatibility, in order for dentists to better choose the metal that is best suited for the procedure and the patient.
microabrasion Microabrasion is a techniques that utilizes a mixture of hydrochloric acid and pumice which is rubbed onto the surface of the tooth repetitively until the outer layers of the enamel containing the stains are abraded away.
microorganisms Microorganisms are living cells that are naked to the regular eye. They are either beneficial or detrimental to the teeth and gums. They are typically found in the billions in numbers. An example is gingivitis.
minimal sedation Minimal sedation is a type of sedation used by dentists to ease the comfort and anxiety level of the patient. It is drug-induced and affects only the cognitive and physical function of the patient, while leaving the breathing and cardiovascular function unaffected.
moderate sedation A concious sedation to keep you relaxed and calm during any necessary procedure so you can follow any necessary direction during that time. The medication can be given as a pill, an inhaled form, or through a shot. The patient is still monitored during this situation to make sure they are safe.
molar Molars are the most posterior tooth in mammals. It's flat surface helps to grind food during chewing. Molar the name came from Latin word mola, means "millstone".
moulage A moulage is a mold or cast usually made of Plaster of Paris used for forensic evidence or investigations. For example, a cast of a footprint left at the scene of a crime, or a cast of a bite mark left on a victim. Moulage can also be the application of fake injuries to aid in emergency or first aid training.
mouthguard It is a plastic guard put in the mouth to protect the teeth and gums during assorted sporting events, and can be used to protect the teeth at night for people who grind their teeth. They can be found in sporting goods stores, but can also be custom made by a person's dentist.
mucous membrane A membrane lining all body passages that communicate with the air, such as the respiratory and alimentary tracts, and having cells and associated glands that secrete mucus.
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noble alloys They are certain metals, like gold and palladium, that are used to help make crowns and fillings for teeth. There are other metals used like nickel, chromium, and beryllium; but it depends on who is making the crowns and fillings.
non-autogenous Non-autogenous is a graft from a donor other than the patient. These may be grafts of bone, dentin, or tissues. Non-autogenous grafts are commonly used in cosmetic dentistry.
non-intravenous conscious sedation This procedure consists of the use of a syringe and needle to administer a drug that will numb the area when a procedure would create pain for the patient.
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obstructive sleep apnea A sleep disorder in which a narrowing of the throat or relaxation of the throat muscles cause a short-term blockage of the airway during sleep. This temporarily causes a person to stop breathing.
obturate In general medicine, obturate means a blockage or obstruction. In dentistry, obturation refers to the process of sealing the exposed root of the jawline after a root canal.
obturatorA obturator is a prosthetic device used in the mouth to cover a hole or fistula in the mouth, such as in the roof. The device looks like a retainer, but does not include the wire for the teeth and is usually used for only a short period of time.
occlusalIt refers to the contact between teeth during chewing or during rest, when the mouth is closed. There is always a chance that there could be something wrong with the contact (such as an overbite or underbite) which can be corrected
occlusal radiographOcclusal radiograph refers to a specific view of an x-ray taken of the mouth. An x-ray is taken to view the teeth along the occlusal surface of the mouth.
occlusal surfaceOcclusal surface is defined as the outer surface of the teeth which come into contact with the surface of other teeth when the jaw is closed or clenched.
occlusionAn occlusion or vascular occlusion occurs when a blood clot causes the blockage of a blood vessel. Although they can be dangerous, we can actually cause vascular occlusions to restrict the flow of blood to tumors, and much more.
odontogenicOdontogenic defines the formation of teeth or how something forms because of where a tooth sits. Odontogenic can refer to an overbite or an underbite; as well as other issues with teeth formation.
odontogenic cystClosed sacs (cyst) that form around the jaw. These sacs are usually filled with fluid or a semi solid material and also form in clusters, more than just one sac (cyst). These cyst can resolve on their own but usually they need to be surgically removed and tested for cancers and other possible diseases.
odontoplastyThe process of remodeling or filling material or cast crowns and the removal of enamel from teeth is called odontoplasty. It enhances plaque control and gingival morphology. Here the natural teeth are shaped to correct crowded and smoothing minor roughs on teeth.
onlayAn onlay is a fabricated prosthetic made in a dental laboratory that fits inside and over a portion of a tooth, looking exactly like a natural tooth when completed. Onlay is used when a filling is going to be too large, causing the potential for fracture. Onlay can also be used if a patient does not want to replace a larger filling more often, as onlay is made with a more durable material and are bonded to the tooth for a long service life.
open reductionIt is a surgery to help set a bone that does not want to set correctly through regular means. The first part of the surgery is to fix and set the bone correctly; then use any pins, screws or plates needed to keep it set in the right spot.
operculectomyAn operculectomy is a dental operation in which an inflamed or improperly-developed portion of the gumline is removed from the surface of an unerupted tooth.
operculumThe operculum is a lid or covering. In dental care, it is the covering of tissue which sits upon an erupted tooth. This tissue is chewed away over time as the tooth erupts.
oralAnything that has to do with the mouth is considered oral. To take something orally would be to ingest it and any form of oral surgery is done to the mouth or teeth.
oral and maxillofacial pathologistA doctor/dentist specializing in diseases of the mouth and surrounding part of the mouth. These dentists/doctors help with diagnosing any mouth or jaw problems sometimes by performing extensive medical procedures such as biopsies.
oral and maxillofacial pathologyOral and maxillofacial pathology is a branch of dentistry that focuses on diseases of the oral and maxillofacial regions. It specifically looks at the causes, management, effects, and cures for these diseases.
oral and maxillofacial radiologistIt is a dentist who has a specialty in interpeting results from images that come from such sources like x-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds of the head and dental area. It is a specialty that requires two years of study.
oral and maxillofacial radiologyOral and maxillofacial radiology is the dental specialty involving the use of diagnostic imaging on the mouth, jaw, and nearby areas. Imaging methods used include X-Rays, PET scans, MRIs, and ultrasound scans.
oral and maxillofacial surgeonAn oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a medical doctor who performs surgery to correct disease or injury to the head, neck, mouth or jaw. This includes both the hard and soft tissue of the mouth.
oral and maxillofacial surgeryThis pertains to surgery that has anything to do with mouth surgery (oral) or surgery in the mouth region (such as jaw or the skin around mouth).
oral diagnosisIt is the term used to describe how the dentist interprets the results of checking your teeth and analysis of any objects from your teeth.
oral health literacyOral health literacy is the ability to process and understand the basic treatment options suggested or provided by the dental provider.
oral mucosaIt is the mucous membrane that lines the inside of a person's mouth. There are many layers to the membrane and they serve different purposes. A person's health can affect the whole mucosa and it can help a dentist check if there might be any underlying health problems in a patient.
orthodontic retainerOrthodontic retainers are custom-made devices, usually made of wires or clear plastic, that hold teeth in position after surgery or any method of realigning teeth in a proper way.
orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedicsOrthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is typically braces. An orthodontist is a dentist specialized in the use of applying braces and the movement of jaws. Dentofacial orthopedics is dentistry involved in putting objects into mouths to either fix problems or prevent problems from arising.
orthodontistOrthodontists are dental specialists. The primary focus for an orthodontist is finding the cause for and treating dental displacement and malocclusions, which are improper bites.
orthognathicOrthognathic is a type of dental surgery to correct the jaw alignment and occlusion to achieve a facial harmony. Orthognathic surgery can be performed for single or double jaw to re-position and to obtain a beautiful profile of jaw alignments.
orthognathic surgeryA procedure that uses oral implants to restructure tooth placement.
orthotic deviceAn orthotic device is a device that supports a weak or unstable joint or muscle, like a knee brace or a splint for a sprained finger. It helps stabilize the weakened joint or muscle to allow it to heal or to keep it from worsening.
osseointegrationOsseointegration is the process in which a dental implant attaches directly into the bone cells on the jawline so that the implant is held in place more securely.
osteoplastyosteoplasty is a category of surgery that uses surgical alteration or modification of the bone to eliminate pain. With this, it can improve mobility and make the bone stronger.
osteotomyOsteotomy is usually performed during bone injuries. These surgical operation are used to correct the position of dislocated bones, broken or damaged bones. This surgical method is mostly used in all the parts of the body where bones are either damaged or collapsed. This method is mostly used in patients suffering from Osteoarthritis.
overdentureAn overdenture is a partial or complete denture that is removable and sits on or over teeth already present, whether they be real or artificial teeth. This makes it unnecessary to remove the old or decayed teeth, which allows the patient to retain feeling in the teeth and prevents the jawbone from receding.
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palateThe term palate is used to describe the area between someones mouth and the their nasal cavity. The palate is a very sensitive area, rich in blood vessels, and is believed by many to be responsible for causing so-called "brain-freezes" when the palate becomes too cold, such as when eating ice cream.
palliativeA general medical term that means relieving pain. It is not a cure all but a short term method of pain relief until proper permanent treatment can be obtained.
panoramic radiographA panoramic radiograph is a panoramic scanning dental X-ray of the upper and lower jaw. It shows a two-dimensional view of a half-circle from ear to ear. Panoramic radiography is a form of tomography.
parafunctionalThe term parafunctional refers to a regular or habitual use of a body part to perform activities unrelated to the body part's main function. For example, teeth grinding would be considered a parafunctional activity, as the main reason we possess teeth and a jaw is completely unrelated to our ability to grind them as a reaction to stress.
parenteralParenteral means not by way of the digestion tract. Rather than eating food and digesting it through the stomach and intestines, Parenteral nutrition can be administered through an IV into a vein thus feeding the body and foregoing the digestion tract. This is generally done when a person is sick and has trouble digesting food.
parotid glandsParotid glands refer to the largest of the three major salivary glands. These glands are located in the front and below the ear and behind the jaw bone.
partial dentureA partial denture is a denture that is used for a patient missing a section of teeth, but unable to get a bridge. It replaces teeth for cosmetic or functional reasons, but is removable.
pediatric dentistA pediatric dentist is a dentist who has specialized skills for providing dental services to young children, especially those under the age of 16. These dentists have a special personality to deal with young patients because they are often the first dentist that a child sees.
pediatric dentistryAny dentist who specializes his or her dental care services to meet the needs of children, ranging from birth through adolescence, is a pediatric dentist.
pedodontistA pedodontist is a dentist who specializes in the dental needs of children. They can provide routine care as well as treatment for cavities or other dental problems in a child.
pellicleThe device used in an extraction to give the dentist enough leverage to take out the tooth and keep the patient as comfortable as they can.
periapicalThe periapical is the area around the base of a tooth under the gums near the root. It is considered the membrane around that area.
periapical cystA periapical cyst is an inflammatory growth in the mandible that is usually caused by the necrosis of a tooth that has been badly infected and not properly treated. It is usually treated with a root canal.
periapical radiographA periapical radiography is an x-ray technology used to provide information about the teeth and underlying bone. It shows the entire root and crown of the teeth which provides crucial information to aid in dental diagnosis.
periapical x-rayAn Inraoral X-Ray (taken with the X-Ray film in the mouth) showing the entire tooth structure, above and below the gum and including images of the surrounding teeth. Most commonly used to detect problems of the root and surrounding area.
pericoronalPericoronal refers to the crown area of the tooth.
periodic oral evaluationA periodic oral evaluation is completed by a dentist to check the health or the teeth and oral tissue. This oral evaluation is usually completed on a semi-annual basis, however can be completed more frequently if problems are noted.
periodontal abscessThis refers to a collection of pus in the mouth. These are usually infections and occur in living tooth or in the gum tissue as well.
periodontal diseasePeriodontal disease is a term used for a variety of diseases that occur along the periodontal tissues. It is often also referred to as gum disease. A common periodontal disease is gingivitis.
periodontal pocketThe extensions of the potential space between a tooth and the surrounding mucosal tissue that lies over the mandible and maxilla inside the mouth is called periodontal pocket. It indicates the depth of the gingival sulcus near the point at which the gingival tissue contacts the tooth.
periodonticsPeriodontics is defined as the branch of dentistry that concentrates on the teeth themselves and any other supporting structures around them, including the gums and jaw bone.
periodontistOffers oral care to those who require more extensive oral treatment or surgery oppose to general check ups and treatments that can be attained by the family dentist.
periodontistA periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the treatment of periodontal disease, as well as the placement of dental implants. Oral inflammation is diagnosed and treated by periodontists.
periodontitisPeriodontitis is a disease of the gums. It is characterized by inflammation in the gum tissue and tissue around the teeth. It can cause damage to the gum tissue and weakening of the bones that support teeth. It can cause teeth to loosen or tooth loss. It is largely the result of poor oral hygiene.
periodontiumThe term periodontium refers to the various tissues whose responsibility collectively as a group is to support the teeth, namely the gingiva, periodontal ligament, cementum and alveolar bone.
periradicularPeriradicular periodontitis refers to the acute or chronic inflamed lesion around the apex of a root of the tooth. This is caused by bacteria invading the pulp of the tooth.
permanent dentitionPermanent Dentition are also known as permanent teeth or adult teeth. These teeth come in after you lose your baby teeth also known as your primary teeth. These teeth you will have the rest of your life so keeping them healthy is very important.
permanent dentition (adult dentition)They are the adult teeth that show up after the loss of all baby teeth. There are 32 teeth for every person, and the adult teeth start to show up at age 6 on average. The molars are usually the first to arrive, the wisdom teeth last.
pinPin is a slender, elongated piece of metal used for securing fixation of parts. Known as a peg for fixing the crown root of a tooth.
plaquePlaque is a nasty build up on teeth that is created by bacteria attaching itself to your tooth. Plaque is one of the main causes of cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
ponticA pontic is an artificial tooth, or the part of a partial denture or dental bridge that fills in where the original tooth was. It does not include the fitting or the part of the partial denture that holds it in place. It is only the actual artificial tooth, or the part that substitutes for the missing tooth.
porcelain/ceramicDental porcelain or ceramic is a substance used to create lifelike and sturdy replacement teeth in the form of dentures, crowns, bridges and veneers. These low maintenance substances are widely used in the dental industry.
postA thick and metallic shaft that is implanted in a person's tooth during a dental procedure such as a root canal to ensure the strength and health of a tooth that is treated.
posteriorSimilar in definition as when used in other anatomical terms, "posterior" teeth refer to those teeth located in the rear of the mouth. Including the molar and premolar teeth.
precision attachmentPrecision attachments are the mechanical parts of partial dentures. They are removable and can be made of plastic, metal or both. Precision attachments aid in denture comfort as well as easing the removal of the dentures.
predominantly base alloysThe process of combining two or more agents having different properties that do not exist in any of the single constituent elements.
premedicationA drug treatment given to a patient before a surgical or invasive medical procedure is called premedication. These drugs are typically sedative.
preventive dentistryPreventative dentistry is dental work that is performed in order to keep the teeth and gums healthy for both the present and foreseeable future. This would include routine cleanings, fluoride treatments, and other work meant to keep the mouth healthy, and stop future problems from occurring.
prophylaxisThis is when a dentist or the dental hygienist performs a cleaning of the teeth such as removing plaque so that the individual does not get mouth diseases such as gingivitis.
prosthesisA prosthesis is an artifical implant used in a dental procedure. These implants are constructed of foreign material in a laboratory and implanted during a dental procedure.
prosthodontic retainerA dental device used to maintain and assure the integrity of a region of the person's teeth that has undergone a procedure such as a surgery or something like corrective braces.
prosthodonticsProsthodontics is a branch of dentistry. The focus of this branch is designing and making fittings and artificial devices for dentures, artificial teeth, and replacement parts for the mouth or jaw.
prosthodontistThese are dentists that specialize specifically in replacing teeth or restoring teeth to it's original (and sometimes better) state. They are more on the cosmetic side of dentristry.
provisionalA provisional is usually a short-term fix. Aiding in diagnosis, treatment planning and communication to the laboratory for the clinical success of definitive fixed restorations.
pulpA large mass of vascular tissue and cells held within a pulp chamber at the very center of a tooth, surrounded by dentin and then covered with enamel.
pulp cavityThe pulp cavity is the space in the tooth that contains the fibrovascular dental pulp. It also includes the root canal and the pulp chamber, and it is lined with odontoblasts, which is connective tissue cells that deposit dentin. The pulp cavity is the central, hollow part of the tooth.
pulpectomyIt it basically a root canal, where any infected pulp tissued is cleaned out and removed due to a cavity or a chipped/broken tooth. There is a version that only takes out the infected pulp, and one where it is all cleared out. Either way the tooth remains in the mouth.
pulpitisPulpitis is the inflammation of tooth pulp, the living part of tooth which has Nerves and Blood Vessels. The pulpitis can be caused by tooth decay that penetrated though the enamel and dentin layer of tooth, dental abbesses or a trauma from grinding, clenching, any injury or thermal irritation from numerous dental procedures.
pulpotomyA pulpotomy is the dental procedure in which a portion of the soft interior of the tooth - the pulp - is removed and then a filling placed inside. This procedure enables the diseased portion of the tooth to be removed, thereby protecting the remaining healthy portion.
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quadrantQuadrant refers to segments of the mouth. There are 4 quadrants: upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left. These pertain to sections of teeth in a persons mouth.
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radicularPertaining to, or involving, the root of a nerve. In the case of dentistry the root of a tooth. Can be used to describe pain coming from the root.
radiographA radiograph is an x-ray image, or a picture of the inside of a body. Radiographs use radiation to form the picture of internal structures. Radiographs are used in order to show a dentist the patient's teeth with root systems.
radiographic/surgical implant indexA new procedure and technique used in implant surgery that helps in creating a template to predict a patient's oral health in a more accurate and detailed way.
ranulaA ranula is a mucous-containing, dome-shaped swelling that usually occurs on the bottom of the mouth. It is often caused by trauma to the salivary glands.
recalcificationapexificationRecalcificationapexification is a procedure done in hopes of encouraging root repair of immature root defects. May include placement of an artificial barrier.
re-evaluationA re-evaluation is an appointment to check a problem already treated and addressed with a current patient, normally to check if any changes are occurring as well as positive or negative evaluations of treatment.
reimplantation, toothThe replacement of a tooth that has been replaced at a previous point in time by recrafting a tooth and molding it to fit the person.
relineAny patient with dentures will occasionally need to have them adjusted due to the mouth adjusting on occasion. The dentist with do a casting of the denture area of the mouth, then use it to reline the dentures. After that is done, the dentures will fit better in the mouth.
removable applianceIt is any dental appliance like dentures, a partial, or a retainer. They are there to help replace missing teeth, or help keep them straight in the case of a retainer. They can be taken out when not needed and should be cleaned on a daily basis.
removable partial dentureAn object for a partially toothless patient who desires to have replacement of the teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons and who cannot have a bridge.
removable prosthesisA partial denture made so that it can readily be removed from the mouth.
residual rootThe underlying part of the tooth that is embedded in the gum line where bacteria can grow causing pressure and pain in a patients mouth.
resin, acrylicAcrylic resin is a plastic substance derived from acrylic acid or methacrylic acid. Acrylic resin is used to make casts or molded parts in the dental field.
resorbTo resorb, is to break something down into its basic components, after which the components are circulated back into the bloodstream. Resorption can occur to many different types of tissue in many animals.
retainerA retainer is a device used to help align teeth before braces are applied or after they are removed. They are typically constructed using plastic or wires.
retrograde fillingA retrograde filling is when the dentist places a filling at the top of the tooth root to fill a root canal. This is done to seal an infection.
retrospective reviewIt is to review the services that have taken place after the fact. This is an assessment after surgery, treatment, etc as to how well it was performed.
revisionRevision is a form of surgery. It is done to fix problems that occurred with a previous surgery. It can be used to eliminate scar tissue from a previous surgery, or it can be done to replace or compensate for a previous implant that did not take or did not work as expected.
rootThe part of your tooth that is connected under the gums. Although this part isn't visible, it can be painful if a problem develops at the root. There are nerves and blood vessels in this area, making it easy to feel pain if something goes wrong.
root canalRoot canal- A root canal is a dental procedure that replaces infected pulp within a tooth with a substitute material to prevent further damage to the tooth and maintain its functionality.
root canalThe root canal is the space below the tooth. It is composed of the tooth's pulp chamber, nerve endings, and may also contain pathways to the root canals of other teeth in the mandible.
root canal therapyRoot canal therapy refers to the treatment of the diseased or damaged areas of the tooth root.
root cariesRoot caries is another name for tooth decay or cavity. Root caries is caused by the destruction of tooth material by lack of proper care or disease.
root planingAn effective treatment for severe gum disease, root planing usually involves a local anesthetic to numb the area before removing the plaque and calculus on the surface of the tooth root using curettes or ultrasound.
routes of administrationRoutes of administration are the ways in which substances enter the body. For example, aspirin would usually have an oral route of administration. Many anesthetics, like propofol, would have an intravenous route of administration. Suboxone's route of administration would be sublingually.
rubber damA rubber dam is a piece of equipment used to keep a tooth try during dental work and examination. It consists of a thin sheet of rubber which surrounds the tooth with minimal discomfort for the patient.
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salivary glandThey are the group of glands found in the mouth area of every person. They produce saliva for the mouth and protect the mouth, gums and teeth from damage from dry mouth. They also contain an enzyme that helps break down some starches as well.
scalingScaling refers to the process by which a dentist performs a deep cleaning on the teeth, even extending to underneath the outermost edges of the gum itself. Local anesthetic is used during the procedure.
sealantSealants are bonding agents used between substrates of different physical properties to form a seal between the materials. Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities.
sedative fillingA sedative filling is intended to be a temporary filling that is used mainly to alleviate the pain a damaged tooth can cause a patient. They are employed mostly when extensive work is needed to repair a tooth, but this work cannot be completed in a single session of operation.
semi-precision attachmentA semi-precision attachment is a type of dental device with two main parts. One part is attached to a tooth or implant that's used to provide support. The other part is merged into a prosthesis, which can be fixed or removable, in order to make it more stable.
sextantA sextant is an instrument used to determine the distance and angle between two objects. It can be used for many purposes and in dentistry is used for determining teeth alignment.
sialodochoplastyIt is a surgery to repair any damage or defect to the salivary duct. It often requires a small piece of plastic to help open up and repair the damaged duct. It can also help remove any small stones that are blocking the duct as well.
sialographySialography is an x-ray of the salivary ducts and glands. The patient's salivary gland is injected with a contrast material before x-rays are taken. Sialography can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify abnormalities.
sialolithotomyThe surgical incision of a salivary gland or duct in order to remove a calcium stone (calculus), usually performed under a local anesthetic.
space maintainerA space maintainer is a device that keeps the space in between teeth, when the space closed due to premature loss of teeth. There are many different varieties. They can be fixed (stay in place) or removable, they can be unilateral (for one side of the mouth) or bilateral (both sides of the mouth). They can also be placed on either the mandibular or maxillary arch. A space maintainer can be any combination of the aforementioned, for example, a mandibular unilateral removable space maintainer.
specification no. 3950specification no. 3950- Specification no. 3950 is a model which dentists use to identify different areas of the mouth, as well as number teeth. Supernumary teeth are not currently included in this model.
splintIt is a stiff material to help keep an area straight after a broken bone has been set. It can be made of almost any material, and usually covers an area that isn't able to be covered by a cast
stomatitisAny number of oral inflammation or ulcers affecting the membranes of either inside the mouth or on the lips. Can include cold sores, cankers and irritations caused by allergic reactions.
stress breakerA stress breaker is a piece of equipment used in conjunction with dentures. More specifically, it is a device used to lessen the pressure on the teeth to which a partial denture is affixed.
study modeldiagnostic castA study model of a diagnostic cast is typically just an impression of the patient's teeth and possibly surrounding tissue also known as the gums. This is used in diagnostics and even in the classrooms for teaching.
sublingual glandsSublingual glands refer to the smallest salivary glands in the mouth. It accounts for less than 5 percent of the saliva accumulated in the mouth.
submandibular glandsThey are the major salivary glands found beneath the floor of your mouth. While they weigh a mere 15 grams, they actually produce the majority of the saliva produced in your mouth. The superficial lobe composes most of the glands, with a smaller deep lobe beneath it.
succedaneous toothA succedaneous tooth is the permanent tooth that replaces the deciduous (or baby or primary) tooth. It is different from an accessional tooth, because an accessional tooth does not have a primary tooth it replaces. A succedaneous tooth must replace a deciduous tooth.
supernumerary teethSupernumerary teeth are extra teeth beyond what is typical. They are usually found in the mouth, but can erupt anywhere inside your head. They can be baby teeth or permanent. A person can have one or more supernumerary teeth and the condition is often hereditary.
sutureA suture is also referred to as a stitch. This is used to hold tissue together when needed to keep the tissue in place. It is typically used in closing parts of the gum when surgery is performed during dental procedures.
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temporary removable dentureTemporary removal dentures are devices that dentists will use to replace missing teeth. They are not meant to be a permanent solution, but are often used in patients who cannot afford a higher cost option, or while the patient waits for a permanent fixture to be created.
temporomandibular (tmj)This is the joint belonging to the lower jaw. It's name comes from the bones that it is made of- the temporal bone in the head and the mandible which is the lower jaw.
temporomandibular joint dysfunction (tmd or tmjd):Inflammation and pain due to malfunction of the joint that connects the jaw to the side of the skull. Symptoms include stiff jaw muscles, clicking in the jaw, and possible locking of the jaw.
therapeuticThe term therapeutic refers to any treatment used to treat or heal a disease. It can include a treatment, therapy or drug designed to cure a condition or reduce the symptoms of the condition.
tissue conditioningAs a tooth is moved the tissue is capable of forming to the new position making the use of headgear/implants/retainers worthwhile.
titanium and titanium alloysA combination of titanium and other chemical elements used for dental implants and casting because of their strength and durability.
tomographyIt can refer to a certain type of CT scan that takes images through sections, a slice at a time. It is used to get a better view of a certain area during the scan.
tooth bounded spaceA tooth bounded space is a space in a person's mouth created by a missing tooth where there is one or more teeth still located on either side of the open space.
torusThis is a bone like growth that happens along the inside of the jaw right below the lower teeth close to the front of the mouth and near the tongue.
transdermalTransdermal is an administration route for ingredients to the skin in some way. More specifically, systemic distribution like patches referred to as 'transdermal patches' for delivering treatments of medicine and operational procedures like anesthetics, or common uses like acne treatments over the counter.
transitionalTransitional refers to temporary dentures that are intended for use during the healing period after teeth have been removed. They retain space in the jaw and allow it and the gums to heal before a permanent piece is installed.
transitional dentitionIt is the state of going from baby teeth to adult teeth. The time period depends on each child, depending on how long it takes for the teeth to be shed and be replaced.
transmucosalTransmucosal is defined as something entering across or through the mucous membranes. This could include a tube inserted through the nose or any other mucous membrane.
transosteal (transosseous)Transostal refers to a type of dental implant which passes through the mandible through the use of metal posts. These help to prolong the life of the dental implant by making it more secure.
transseptalTransseptal means passing through or between or across a septum. For example, transseptal fibers are fibers that run from the supraalveolar cementum of one tooth, through the attached gum tissue above the septum of the alveolar bone, and into the distal cementum of the next tooth.
treatment planA treatment plan is a plan of procedures, whether they are inpatient or outpatient in nature. Including medications and therapies that, together, are intended to alleviate or completely eradicate a medical condition or issue.
trismusTrismus is the inability to open one's mouth. It has a variety of causes, some of which are spasms in the jaw muscles, unusually short jaw muscles, or it could be a symptom of tetanus. It is sometimes referred to as "lockjaw," especially when it is seen as a symptom of tetanus.
tuberosityA tuberosity is defined as a large, round prominence on a bone. Specifically, it refers to the place of attachment for muscles or ligaments. In densistry, tuberosity usually refers to the maxillary tuberosity, a large, round prominence on the upper maxilla.
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uneruptedTeeth that have not yet emerged from the gums are called unerupted. Unerupted teeth may be compacted or otherwise unable to emerge from the gums, such as when the jaw does not have enough room for the wisdom teeth to come in, or it may simply refer to teeth that have naturally not yet emerged from the gums, like the adult teeth in a child's mouth.
unilateralUnilateral means affecting or being on one side. In dentistry, this refers to a unilateral loss of teeth or tooth decay, meaning only occurring on one side of the mouth, or a unilateral denture, which is a replacement for teeth that are missing on one side of the mouth.
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veneerA veneer, in dentistry, is a thin material that is applied to the outside of the tooth. A veneer could be applied for aesthetic purposes or it could be placed on a tooth that needs additional protection.
vertical bitewingA vertical bitewing is a small piece of material that is used to take radiographs of the teeth at an angle that allows the viewing of any existing overhangs, root caries, crowns, furcation, and bone loss. The film is placed vertically rather than horizontally to get a more complete view of the root.
vestibuloplastyIt is a dental surgery to modify the gums in a persons mouth. It is often done to help with any possible problems with dentures. Some procedures require some form of skin or bone graft to be done to help stabilize the denture area.
viral cultureA viral culture is a test to check if someone or something is infected with the virus. Cells are taken that can be infected with the virus and put with the virus, and if the cells show changes then the test is positive. An example is a throat culture for streptococcus, or strep throat.
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wax patternA wax pattern is wax that his been formed around and on a tooth to make a cast for it that is used in casting. A wax pattern is used often when a cap or crown is needed to cover an existing tooth.
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xerostomiaxerostomia is when you have a dry mouth caused by a change in the composition of your saliva or when you do not produce it enough to keep your mouth moist.
x-rayX-ray refers to a digital image of the internal composition of a part of the body. The image is produced by x-rays being passed through the object and being absorbed to different degrees by materials.
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yeastYeast, in particular the species Candida albicans, is responsible for what is known as oral thrush. When yeast is overly abundant it creates visible plaques on the tongue, inner cheek, throat, roof of mouth, tonsils, and gums. The plaques resemble cottage cheese and mostly affects infants, denture wearers, and people with lowered immunity.

Check out the ADA's Glossary of Dental and Administrative Terms for even more definitions!