General Dentistry Terms
Abscesses are infections that occur around the root of a tooth or in the space between the teeth and gums.
The teeth on either side of a missing tooth.
A silver/mercury mixture which is used for fillings.
1) The arrangement of the bones in your skeleton
2) The study of the arrangement of the bones in your skeleton.
A chemical agent which can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.
A drug which a doctor or dentist uses to put you, your mouth, or some other part of your body asleep so you do not feel any pain during dental or medical procedures.
An adjective used to describe things pertaining to your centrals, laterals and cuspids (your front teeth).
Collectively, either the teeth or the basal bone of either jaw.
A special holder for models of your teeth. The articulator holds the models in the same alignment as your jaw so the orthodontist can look carefully at your bite.
The avoidance of potentially pathogenic microorganism. In practice, it refers to those techniques which aim to exclude all microorganisms.
Tube like a straw which the dentist puts in your mouth to suck up all the saliva.
Removal of fluids from your mouth with an aspirator.
Ripped away or to have a knocked out tooth
A technique of joining orthodontic brackets or other attachments directly to the enamel surface of a tooth, using orthodontic adhesives.
A bridges is made up crowns attached to the teeth, or implants, on either side of a gap (missing tooth). A false tooth (pontic) is “attached” to these other crowns.
Clenching or grinding of your teeth especially at night.
A hard deposit that forms when you do not brush your teeth so the plaque hardens. Calculus is also known as tartar.
Another name for a cavities (tooth decay)
A small hole in one of your teeth caused by tooth decay.
Passing bacteria, viruses or AIDS indirectly from one patient to another through the use of improper sterilization procedures, unclean instruments, or "recycling" of orthodontic products.
1) An artifacial tooth, 2) an artificial replacement for the covering on a tooth.
Is a sub-division of gingival flap procedures and it is normally done on 1 or 2 teeth to expose a natural, broad smile.
A periodontal procedure where your gums are scraped to remove bacteria.
The loss of calcium from your teeth. This weakens your teeth and makes them more susceptible to decay
A synthetic replacement for all of your teeth in either your upper or your lower jaw.
The process of identifying the nature of a disorder.
Direct contact with impurities or germs. (for example by a Patient sneezing on the assistant.)
A cleaning process which destroys of most microorganism, but not highly resistant forms such as bacterial and mycotic spores or the AIDS virus.
A chemical agent which is applied onto inanimate surfaces, for example chairs, to destroy germs.
Materials intended for one use and discarded. (e.g.: Gloves, paper gowns, cotton rolls, sponges, etc.)
Behind towards the back of the mouth. For example you might say that the first bicuspid is distal to the cuspid.
Someone is said to be edentulous when all of their teeth are missing from either their upper or lower jaw.
The hard covering on the exposed part of a tooth.
A dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of diseases or injuries that affect the root tips or nerves in your teeth.
Erupt / Eruption
When a new tooth comes in, the tooth is said to erupt when the tooth breaks through the surface of your gums, so you can see the tooth in your mouth.
To fall out. (Your deciduous teeth exfoliate and permanent teeth erupt into the space.)
Outside of your mouth. For example, neck pads are said to be extra oral products since they go outside of your mouth.
The removal of tooth.
The dimple or indentation under the nose directly above the upper lip.
A temporary partial denture.
A chemical solution or gel which you put on your teeth. The fluoride hardens your teeth and prevents tooth decay.
Abnormal enlargement of the gingiva surrounding the teeth caused by poor oral hygiene.
A less intrusive method of correcting pocket depths is done via reduction of excess gum tissue, without opening the gums.
The inflammation of your gums caused by improper brushing. The first sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a slowly progressing infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
An unerupted tooth that somehow has gotten stuck and cannot come in.
A replacement for one of your missing teeth. The implant is different than a bridge in that the implant is permenantly attached into your jaw.
The biting edge of your central and lateral teeth.
The space between adjacent teeth
Inside your mouth. For example, orthodontic rubber bands are called intraoral products since the rubber bands are designed to go in your mouth.
The technique of using a solution to wash out your mouth and to flush debris.
Tooth surface next to your lips or things mounted on the tooth surfaces next to your lips.
The tooth surface next to your tongue or things mounted on the tooth surfaces next to your tongue.
Your lower jaw
Pertaining to your lower jaw
To chew your food and mix the food with saliva
Your upper jaw
Pertaining to your upper jaw
Forward or front. For example your cuspid is mesial to you bicuspid. The mesial surface of your bicuspid is the part of the bicuspid closest to your cuspid.
A plane through the very center of your mouth perpendicular to your nose.
The situation when both deciduous and permanent teeth are present.
The chewing or grinding surface of the bicuspid and molar teeth.
The imaginary surface on which upper and lower teeth meet.
The only x-ray that is taken without a precision(tm) x-ray holder. The x-ray film for this procedure is shaped like a large oatmeal cookie. You are asked to bite on the x-ray film and the top of the x-ray machine is positioned over your nose for a maxillary occlusal x-ray or under your chin for a mandibular occlusal film. The x- ray shows the whole arch.
Pertaining to the mouth.
Cells which aid the growth and development of teeth and bones.
Cells which help create the sockets in bones. For example osteoclasps create the
openings in your jaw bone to hold your teeth.
Disease producing organisms that can exist in many different places. (e.g.: Air, dust, counter top surfaces, the body, etc.)
The study of abnormal (diseased) tissue conditions.
A dentist who specializes in the treatment of children’s teeth.
X-ray of individual teeth or groups of teeth.
A dentist who specializes in the treatment of diseases of your gums.
A colorless, odorless, sticky substance containing acids and bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Pertaining to your gums. For example periodontal desiese is gum disease.
A dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease.
Adjective used to describe things pertaining to the back of your mouth or your back teeth.
Cleaning your teeth
A dentist who specializes in the replacement of missing teeth.
Refers to the surfaces of teeth that touch the next tooth; the space between adjacent teeth is the interproximal space.
Another name for an X-ray
A procedure where the nerve of a heavily decayed tooth is removed from the tooth replaced with a filling material
The longitudinal vertical plane that divides the mouth into two halves (left and right.)
A cleaning process which reduces germs to a "safe" level.
They are a dental treatment consisting of applying a plastic material to one or more teeth for the intended purpose of preventing dental caries (cavities) or other forms of tooth decay.
A gadget used to maintain a space in your mouth. You would use a space maintainer when you lose one of your baby teeth. The space maintainer will keep a space in your mouth until a permanent tooth comes in to fill the space.
A process where a medical material is treated to remove all possible germs and other forms of life
Some people have extra teeth. These are called "supernumerary teeth".
Another name for calculus
An abreviation for the "temporomandibular joint" The "temporomandibular joint" is the joint
where your lower jaw connects to your skull.
A sheet of paper or special index card used to record your treatment progress.
The use of laser light technology. Apply a whitening gel to surface of teeth and beam the laser light onto them. Whiter, brighter teeth in about an hour.