Dental Dictionary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

     
 

Abscess

• A collection of pus. Usually forms because of infection.

Abutment

• A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge or a denture.

Amalgam

• A silver filling material.

Anesthetic

• An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior

• The front position.

Apex

• The end of the root.

Asepsis

• No micro-organism.

Attrition

• Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing.

Avlused

• An injury that causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of the mouth.

 
     

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B

     
 

Bitewing

• A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth bite together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavity in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bleaching

• Whitening of teeth.

Bridge

• A prosthesis which is fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.

Bruxism

• Teeth grinding.

 
     

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C

     
 

Canine

• The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are totally 4 of them. They are the longest teeth in humans.

Canker sore

• An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.

Caries

• Tooth decay.

Cavity

• A hole on the tooth.

Cast

• A model of teeth.

Cementation

• The process of "glue" the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area.

Chlorhexidine

• An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.

Clasp

• A metal arm extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on to natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

Cold sore

• An ulcer or blister on lip. A form of herpes simplex.

Composite

• White filling.

Cross-bite

• An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth align toward the check/ lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

• A crown is almost like a "cap" on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.

 
     

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D

     
 

Decay

• The rotten part of the tooth.

Dentistry

• A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concern about teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures.

Dentition

• The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw.

Denture (Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture, temporary)

• An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences.

Denturist

• The person who specializes in fabricating dentures. Denturist is not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment (e.g. Removing teeth).

Desensitization

• A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diagnosis

• The process of identifying dental disease.

Diastema

• The space in between two adjacent teeth.

Distal

• A direction indication in the mouth. It indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw.

 
     

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E

     
 

Edentulous

• No teeth.

Endodontics

• A department of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth).

Eruption

• The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision

• The action of cutting something off.

Extruded

• When a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket.

 
     

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F

     
 

Filling

• A restoration places on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.

Flipper

• A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.

Floss

• A thread/tape goes in between teeth for cleaning.

Fluoride

• A compound of fluorine (an element) which be put in different forms such as water, gels, rinses to strengthen up teeth.

Fluoride Treatment

• Teeth treat with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to prevent tooth decay.

Fracture

• When a cusp of a tooth becomes weakened, a fracture may result. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root and damage to the pulp is commonplace.

Framework

• A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments.

 
     

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G

     
 

Gingivitis

• The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.

 
     

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H

     
 

Hemorrhage

• Bleeding

Homeostasis

• Stop bleeding.

 
     

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I

     
 

Impaction

• A condition that a tooth is not able to come in normally or stuck underneath another tooth or bone.

Implant

• A device (usually "screw-like") put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.

Impression

• A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.

Incisal

• The cutting edge of front teeth.

Incisor

• The four upper and lower front teeth.

Inlay

• A restoration (usually is gold, composite or ceremics) fabricated in the lab cements on tooth like a missing puzzle. It helps to restore the normal function and outlook of the tooth.

Interproximal

• The space in between two adjacent teeth.

 
     

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J

K

L

     
 

Lingual

• The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

 
     

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M

     
 

Mesial

• The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Molar

• The last 3 upper and lower teeth on both side of the mouth.

Mouthguard

• A device to be worn in the mouth. Depends on the design of it, it prevents injury on teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sport events.

 
     

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N

     
 

Nightguard

• A mouthguard which is worn at night time.

 
     

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O

     
 

Occlusal

• The biting surface of the back teeth.

Occlusion

• The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.

Onlay

• A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth.

Open bite

• The situation that the upper teeth not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Orthodontics

• A special field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.

Over bite

• The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Overhang

• The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity.

 
     

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P

     
 

Palate

• The roof of the mouth.

Panoramic Radiograph

• An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.

Perforation

• An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Periapical

• The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth.

Periodontics

• A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of supporting unit of teeth.

Permanent teeth

• Adult's teeth. The first permanent tooth usually comes in around 6 years old.

Pin

• A piece of "nail-like" metal. It usually is used for better retention of a filling.

Polish

• A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.

Pontic

• The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.

Post

• A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.

Posterior

• Locate at the back.

Pre-authorization

• An approval from the particular authority (usually insurance company in dentistry) before any action (treatment) is carried out.

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, the amount and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, prescription can also be a written statement on preparation of an appliance from a dentist to a lab technician

Primary teeth

• Baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy

• The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases.

Prosthesis

• An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Prosthodontics

• A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulp

• The inner most part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth.

Pulpectomy

• The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Pulpotomy

• The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth.

 
     

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Q

R

     
 

Radiograph

• An x-ray picture.

Recall

• The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.

Recementation

• The process of "glue" the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area.

Restoration

• An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area in the mouth. It can be a filling, a crown, a bridge, etc.

Retainer

• A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.

Retreatment

• The process of repeating the root canal treatment.

Root

• The bottom part of tooth. It anchors the tooth to its supporting units.

Root canal

• The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.

Root canal treatment

• A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth.

Root planing

• The action of cleaning on the root area of teeth.

Rubber dam

• A rubber sheet that fits around teeth. It isolates the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity.

 
     

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S

     
 

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 tooth to prevent cavity.

Sedation

• The use of medication to calm down a patient.

Space Maintainer

• An appliance to maintain the space in between teeth.

Splint

• An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

 
     

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T

     
 

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)

• The joint that links two jaws.

Torus

• An outgrowth on bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area on the lower jaw.

 
     

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U

V

     
 

Veneer

• A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually for better outlook of the tooth.

 
     

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W

     
 

Wisdom tooth

• The eighth (also the last tooth) tooth from the middle of the jaw.

 
     

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X

     
 

Xerostomia

• Dry mouth

 
     

Y

Z

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Dr. Paul A. Day - Del Lago Dental Care - General Cosmetic Dentistry in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Dental Implants