This basic dental glossary was created to help you, the patient, better understand some of the professional terms you may come across on our website or in the office.
Abscess- a swelling caused by an an infection resulting in a pus filled hole
Bridge – an artificial fixed or removable prosthesis replacing one or more teeth.(more on the subject)
Bruxizm- the habit of tooth grinding, usually during sleep, often resulting in loose or worn teeth, gum recession, destruction of the supportive bone and TMJ disorders.
Calculus – hardened deposit of mineral salts formed around the teeth.
Crown – visible part of tooth covered by enamel. Crown – artificial – (cap) restoration made of metal or porcelain covering damaged tooth.(more on the subject)
Dentin – a mid part of tooth surrounding the pulp and covered by enamel
Denture – a partial or full set of artificial removable teeth (more on the subject)
Enamel – the hard white outer covering of the tooth
Endodontics – an area of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp and the tissues at the root apex
Gingivitis – a condition in which the gums are red, swollen and bleeding. Most cases result from poor oral hygiene and the build-up of plaque on teeth
Implant – tooth replacement inserted into the bone in order to provide structure for an artificial fixed restoration.
(more on the subject)
Malocclusion – (bad bite) abnormal contact between upper and lower teeth
Molars – back teeth used for grinding food. The furthest (third) molars are also known as wisdom teeth.
Orthodontics – branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis of misaligned teeth.
Overbite – a vertical overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower teeth
Partial – (denture) removable appliance replacing one or more teeth.(more on the subject)
Periodontal – relating to the gums and bone structure that surrounds and supports teeth
Plaque – a thin film on the the surface of teeth made up of material in saliva containing bacteria
Pontic – the artificial tooth of the fixed bridge that replaces natural tooth
Post – a metal or carbon fiber support used to reinforce a tooth that has had a root canal therapy.
Prosthodontics – branch of dentistry that deals with replacement of damaged or missing teeth
Pulp – soft, spongy tissue in the center of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves
Root canal – space in the root of tooth that contains pulp tissue
Root canal therapy – a procedure in which root canal is cleaned, shaped and filled
Tartar – a salivary deposit of calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and organic matter on natural or artificial teeth
TMJ – (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) a misalignment of the joint connecting upper and lower jaw resulting in muscle and joint pain in the jaw area.