provided by: David DiGiallorenzo
Abrasion – A loss of the structure of a tooth that can be caused by poor brushing, using a toothbrush that is too hard, and grinding or clenching the teeth.
Abscess – A pocket of infection of the tooth or the bone or soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Abutment – The name for the tooth that supports a bridge, either fixed or removable.
Adhesive Dentistry – The term that refers to dental restorations that involve some type of bonding to the natural teeth.
Air Abrasion – A newer technology in which a tooth structure is removed by blasting the tooth with air and abrasives.
Alveolar Bone – The jaw bone in which the roots of your teeth are anchored.
Amalgam – The most common filling; made of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and zinc.
Anterior Teeth – The six lower or upper front teeth.
Apex – The tip located at the root of each tooth.
Apicoectomy – The removal of a root trip by surgery to treat a dead tooth.
Arch – The alignment of the lower and the upper teeth.
Attrition – The loss of tooth structure due to natural wear and tear.
Bicuspid – Also called the pre-molar, they are the transitional teeth behind cuspids.
Black Hairy Tongue – A condition where one has elongated papillae located on the tongue which promotes growth of certain microorganisms.
Bleaching – A treatment used on teeth for whitening, can be either chemical or laser.
Bonding – A technique in which a composite resin is used to repair or change the tooth.
Braces – A type of device placed on the teeth used to gradually reposition the teeth to a better alignment.
Bridge – A dental appliance that is fixed to the teeth to replace one or multiple missing teeth.
Bruxism – The term for grinding the teeth, usually happens when one is asleep.
Calcium – An element that is needed for healthy teeth, as well as bones and nerves.
Cap – Another term for a dental crown.
Cellulitis – A potentially dangerous infection of the soft tissue that requires immediate attention.
Cosmetic Dentistry – Any number of treatments performed to enhance the appearance of the teeth.
Decay – the destruction of a tooth or its structure caused by bacteria produced toxins.
Deciduous Teeth – The term for baby teeth.
Denture – A set of artificial teeth that are removable.
Diastema – Refers to the space between two teeth.
Enamel – A hard tissue that covers the portion of the tooth that is above the gum line.
Extraction – Refers to the removal of a tooth or teeth.
Filling – The restoration of a lost tooth with either porcelain, metal or other resin materials.
Fistula – A channel that emanates pus from the site of an infection.
Forceps – An instrument used by dentists in the removal of teeth.
Gingiva – The name for gum tissue.
Gingivitis – An infection causing inflammation of gum tissue.
Gum Recession – The exposure of the dental roots due to a shrinkage of gum tissue.
Halitosis – A condition causing bad breath.
Hygienist – A dental technician who cleans teeth and provides education to patients.
Impaction – An unexposed tooth that is wedged against something which in turn precludes the eruption process.
Impression – A mold made of the teeth and gums.
Incisors – The four lower and upper front teeth, excluding the canines or cuspids.
Jacket – A type of crown for a front tooth, usually made with porcelain.
Malocclusion – A misalignment of the lower and upper teeth.
Mandible – The term for the lower jaw.
Mastication – The term for the process of chewing food.
Maxilla – The term for the upper jaw.
Molars – The three back teeth in each of the four dental quadrants used for the grinding of food.
Moniliasis – The name for thrush, a fungal infection that normally occurs after taking antibiotics.
Inhaled Sedation – Laughing gas, used to reduce a patients anxiety before a procedure.
Occlusion – The relationship between the lower and upper teeth upon closure.
Oral Hygiene – The process in which one maintains cleanliness of the teeth and other mouth structures.
Orthodontics – A dental specialty that treats any misalignment of teeth.
Overbite – When the front teeth have a vertical overlap.
Palate – The soft and hard tissue that forms the roof of the mouth.
Periapical – The region located at the end of the roots of the teeth.
Periodontal Surgery – The surgical management of diseased gum and tissue.
Permanent Teeth – The set of 32 complete adult teeth.
Pit – A slight defect in tooth enamel.
Plaque – A substance that can accumulate on teeth, caused by inadequate dental hygiene.
Prophylaxis – The cleaning of teeth to help prevention decay and periodontal disease.
Pulp – The connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels inside a tooth.
Pulpitis – An inflammation of the pulp of a tooth which is a common cause of toothaches.
Root – The structure of the tooth that connects it to the jaw.
Root Canal – The process in which the pulp of a tooth is removed and filled with a different material.
Saliva – The clear fluid located in the mouth.
Sinusitis – Any inflammation of the sinuses that can mimic dental pains.
Supernumerary Tooth – An additional tooth that should not be there.
Tartar – A type of hard deposit that adheres to teeth and attracts plaque.
Tooth Bud – The early embryonic structure that eventually becomes a tooth.
Transplant – The process of placing a natural tooth in the empty socket of any other tooth.
Trench Mouth – A type of gum disease identified by severe mouth sores and a loss of gum tissue.
Veneer – A type of facing bonded to a tooth to improve its appearance.
Wisdom Teeth – The last set of molars that usually develop between the ages of 18-25.
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