Glossary

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-infection caused by severe decay, gum disease or trauma.
  • Amalgam-a mixture of silver and mercury that has been used for fillings since the mid 1800s. Expands and contracts over time eventually damaging or fracturing the tooth. Definitely not part of 21st century dentistry.
  • Anesthetic-a drug that is administered to you by a doctor, that puts you or a particular part of your body to sleep so that you do not feel pain during medical procedures.
  • Anterior Teeth-the teeth in the front of your mouth (centrals, laterals, and cuspids).
  • Antiseptic-a chemical agent which can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.

-B-

  • Bleaching-acid based gel used to condition teeth and make them whiter.
  • Bonding- process in which a composite resin is layered onto the teeth, cured with a harmless, high-intensity light, and then sculpted to the desired shape. Goto Bonding Procedure
  • Bridge-one or more artificial teeth attached, usually on both sides, to crowns on adjacent teeth. It is used to maintain space and function for missing teeth.
  • Bruxism-unconscious clenching or grinding of your teeth, done most often at night.

-C-

  • Calculus-also known as tartar, calculus is hardened plaque that forms when you do not brush your teeth.
  • Canine-another name for cuspids, canine teeth are the pointy teeth just behind the laterals.
  • Cap-slang term for Crown.
  • Caries-also known as cavities, caries are decayed teeth.
  • Cavity-a small hole in one of your teeth caused by tooth decay, also known as caries.
  • Centrals-the two upper and two lower teeth in the center of your mouth.
  • Crown-an artificial tooth, or an artificial cover for a tooth made of porcelain or metal used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth. Goto Crown Procedure
  • Cuspid-pointy teeth just behind the laterals, also known as canines.

-D-

  • Decalcification-the loss of calcium from your teeth which makes them more susceptible to decay.
  • Deciduous Teeth-your primary or "baby teeth".
  • Dental Implant-used to replace missing teeth. Implants are different than bridges in that the implant is permanently attached directly to the jawbone.
  • Denture-an artificial set of teeth that is removable.

-E-

  • Enamel-a natural, hard substance that protects the portion of your teeth above the gum-line.
  • Extraction-the removal of teeth (may be simple or require surgery).

-F-

  • Fillings-restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as: metal, alloy, cement, porcelain or synthetics.
  • Fluoride-a chemical solution that you put on your teeth to harden them and prevent tooth decay.

-G-

  • Gingivitis-inflammation of gum tissue caused by plaque or tartar build up. Gingivitis can sometimes be recognized by a redness and puffiness of the gums, bleeding of the gums when they're brushed, and sometimes a bad mouth odor, or halitosis.
  • Gums-pink areas around your teeth

-H-

  • Home Care-daily routine of brushing and flossing to keep teeth and gums healthy between dental cleanings. May involve use of special tools if teeth and gums are affected by periodontal disease.

-I-

  • Impacted Tooth-usually associated with a wisdom tooth, it is a tooth that has somehow gotten stuck so that complete eruption is unlikely.
  • Implant-see dental implant.
  • Incisor-another name for the centrals and laterals.

-K-

  • K7i-computerized, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment used to determine correct bite and jaw tracking. Critical for Rapid Full Mouth Restoration.

-L-

  • Lateral-the teeth adjacent to the centrals.

-N-

  • Night Guard-a plastic mouthpiece to prevent damage from grinding teeth at night.

-O-

  • Onlay-a custom-made porcelain filling. Usually used to restore teeth damaged by large silver-mercury fillings.

-P-

  • Periodontitis-advanced stage of periodontal disease which involves the surrounding bone. Characterized by a receding of the gums, spaces opening between teeth, discomfort in the gums, and loosening of the teeth. Once know as "Pyorrhea".
  • Plaque-a sticky substance that causes tooth decay, and consists of acids and bacteria or salivary substance.
  • Posterior Teeth-the teeth in the back of your mouth (bicuspids and molars).
  • Primary Teeth-the first set of teeth that come in, also known as "baby teeth" or deciduous teeth.

-R-

  • Resin-composite material that can be mixed to match tooth color. Applied in layers and hardened with high-intensity light. Used for tooth-colored fillings and cosmetic bonding procedures.
  • Root-the portion of your tooth that can not be seen and is below your gum-line.
  • Root Canal-Also called Endodontic treatment, it is the cleaning out the inside nerve of a tooth that is heavily decayed, and replacing it with a material seals the inside of the root so infection cannot get back in.

-S-

  • Sealant-plastic coating applied to grooves of teeth to prevent decay. Used almost exclusively on the biting surfaces of posterior, or back teeth.
  • Secondary Teeth-your permanent teeth, the ones that come to replace your "baby teeth".
  • Six Year Molar-also known as your first molar.

-T-

  • Tartar-see calculus.
  • Tetracycline-powerful antibiotic that when administered to children can cause permanent discoloration their developing teeth
  • TMJ disorder-A disorder-disease associated with the joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull. It is also associated with general unknown facial pain. For some unknown reason there is a high occurrence in women.
  • Tooth Whitening-A process to lighten the color of teeth that usually involves some form of bleaching.
  • Twelve Year Molar-also known as your second molar.

-V-

  • Veneer-A thin piece of porcelain bonded permanently to teeth to change the shape, color, and arrangement of the teeth. Usually veneers are associated with the front teeth and are used to provide an aesthetic covering over the visible surface of a tooth. Some portion of the natural tooth has to be reshaped to make the veneer appear straight pleasing. This is a permanent change and is not reversible but when correctly done can make a stunning smile.

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