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A

Abrasion  

Abrasion is the non-carious, mechanical wear of a tooth from interaction with objects other than tooth-tooth contact. It most commonly affects the premolars and canines, usually along the cervical margins.

Abscess

Acute or chronic localized inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.

acute periradicular or acute apical abscess–An inflammatory reaction to pulpal infection and necrosis characterized by rapid onset, spontaneous pain, tenderness of the tooth to pressure, pus formation and eventual swelling of associated tissues. May also be known as acute periapical abscess, acute alveolar abscess, dentoalveolar abscess, phoenix abscess, recrudescent abscess, secondary apical abscess.

chronic periradicular or chronic periapical abscess–An inflammatory reaction to pulpal infection and necrosis characterized by gradual onset, little or no discomfort and the intermittent discharge of pus through an associated sinus tract. May also be known as chronic alveolar abscess, chronic apical abscess, chronic dentoalveolar abscess, suppurative apical periodontitis, suppurative periradiucular periodontitis.

Abutment

A term with different meanings depending on the clinical scenario.

implant case – the fixture that is placed between the implant body (aka implant post) and the restorative prosthesis (e.g., single crown; denture).

natural tooth case – the tooth used as the support for one end of a denture.

Acid etching

Use of an acidic chemical substance to prepare the tooth enamel and or dentin surface to provide retention for bonding.

ADA

The ADA is the professional association of dentists dedicated to serving both the public and the profession of dentistry. The ADA promotes the public’s health through commitment of member dentists to provide quality oral health care, accessible to everyone

Adhesive

Any substance that joins or creates close adherence of two or more surfaces. Intermediate material that causes two materials to adhere to each other.

Adjunctive

A secondary treatment in addition to the primary therapy.

Adult dentition

Refers to the permanent (“adult”) teeth in the dental arch that either replace the primary dentition or erupt distally to the primary molars.

Allograft

Allotransplant (allo- meaning “other” in Greek) is the transplantation of cells, tissues, or organs to a recipient from a genetically non-identical donor of the same species. The transplant is called an allograft, allogeneic transplant, or homograft. Most human tissue and organ transplants are allografts.

Alloplastic

Refers to synthetic material often used for tissue augmentation or replacement.

Allowable charges 

The maximum amount that an insurer will consider to pay for a service,including any amount that the patient will be responsile for paying.

Alloy

Compound combining two or more elements having properties not existing in any of the single constituent elements

Alveolar

Referring to the bone to which a tooth is attached.

Alveolar Bone

Commonly known as the tooth socket, the alvelor bone is the main support for teeth, anchoring them to both the upper and lowe jaws by a tissue called cementum.

Alveolar Process

The alveolar process (also called the alveolar bone) is the thickened ridge of bone that contains the tooth sockets (dental alveoli) on the jawbones that hold teeth. In humans, the tooth-bearing bones are the maxilla and the mandible.

Alveoloplasty

Surgical procedure for the recontouring supporting bone, sometimes in preparation for a prosthesis.

Alveolus 

Alveolus are sockets in the jaws in which the roots of teeth are held in the alveolar process with the periodontal ligament.

Amalgam

An alloy used in direct dental restorations. Typically composed of mercury, silver, tin and copper along with other metallic elements added to improve physical and mechanical properties.

Analgesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

Anatomical crown

That portion of the tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.

Anesthesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

Ankylosis

Ankylosis is a stiffness of a joint due to abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of the joint, which may be the result of injury or disease. The rigidity may be complete or partial and may be due to inflammation of the tendinous or muscular structures outside the joint or of the tissues of the joint itself.

Anomaly

Deviation from the normal anatomic structure, growth, development or function; an abnormality.

Anterior

Mandibular and maxillary centrals, laterals, and cuspids. The codes for anterior teeth in the Universal/National Tooth Numbering System are 6 through 11 (maxillary), and 22 through 27 (mandibular) for permanent dentition; C through H (maxillary), and M through R (mandibular) for primary dentition. This is also a term that, in general, refers to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth.

Apex

The tip or end of the root end of the tooth.

Apexification

The process of induced root development to encourage the formation of a calcified barrier in a tooth with immature root formation or an open apex. May involve the placement of an artificial apical barrier prior to nonsurgical endodontic obturation.

Apicoectomy

Amputation of the apex of a tooth.

Arch

The curved composite structure of the natural dentition and the residual ridge, or the remains thereof, after the loss of some or all of the natural teeth.

Areas of oral cavity

A two digit numeric system used to report regions of the oral cavity on patient records and on claims submitted to third-party payers.

00 entire oral cavity
01 maxillary arch
02 mandibular arch
10 upper right quadrant
20 upper left quadrant
30 lower left quadrant
40 lower right quadrant

Arthrogram

A diagnostic X-ray technique used to view bone structures following the injection of a contrast medium into a joint.

Autogenous Graft 

Taken from one part of a patient’s body and transferred to another.

B

Bicuspid

A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.

Biopsy

Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.

Bitewing radiograph

Interproximal radiographic view of the coronal portion of the tooth/teeth. A form of dental radiograph that may be taken with the long axis of the image-oriented either horizontally or vertically, that reveals approximately the coronal halves of the maxillary and mandibular teeth and portions of the interdental alveolar septa on the same image.

Bleaching

Process of lightening of the teeth, usually using a chemical oxidizing agent and sometimes in the presence of heat. Removal of deep-seated intrinsic or acquired discolorations from crowns of vital and non-vital teeth through the use of chemicals, sometimes in combination with the application of heat and light. Bleaching has been achieved through short and long-term applications of pastes or solutions containing various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Normally applied externally to teeth; may be used internally for endodontically treated teeth.

Bonding

The process by which two or more components are made integral by mechanical and/or chemical adhesion at their interface.

Bridge

A bridge is a fixed dental restoration (a fixed dental prosthesis) used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining an artificial tooth definitively to adjacent teeth or dental implants.

Bruxism

The parafunctional grinding of the teeth.

Buccal

Pertaining to or toward the cheek (as in the buccal surface of a posterior tooth).

C

Calculus

In dentistry, calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by the precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) in plaque on the teeth.

Canal: A relatively narrow tubular passage or channel.

  1. root canal – Space inside the root portion of a tooth containing pulp tissue.
  2. mandibular canal – The passage which transmits vessels and nerves through the jaw to branches that distributes them to the teeth.

Cantilever extension

Part of a fixed prosthesis that extends beyond the abutment to which it is attached and has no additional support.

A cantilever is a bridge where a pontic is attached to a retainer only on one side. The abutment tooth may be mesial or distal to the pontic.

Capitation

Capitation is a payment arrangement for health care service providers. It pays a set amount for each enrolled person assigned to them, per period of time, whether or not that person seeks care.

Caries

The commonly used term for tooth decay.

Cariogenic

Producing or promoting the development of tooth decay

Cavity

Missing tooth structure. A cavity may be due to decay, erosion, or abrasion. If caused by caries; also referred to as a carious lesion.

Cementum

Hard connective tissue covering the outer surface of a tooth root.

Cephalometric Image

A standardized, extraoral projection utilized in the scientific study of the measurements of the head.

Cleft lip

A cleft lip contains an opening in the upper lip that may extend into the nose. The opening may be on one side, both sides, or in the middle.

Cleft palate

Congenital deformity resulting in a lack of fusion of the soft and/or hard palate, either partial or complete.

Clenching

The clamping and pressing of the jaws and teeth together in centric occlusion, frequently associated with psychological stress or physical effort.

Clinical crown

That portion of a tooth not covered by tissues.

Complete denture

A prosthetic for the edentulous maxillary or mandibular arch, replacing the full dentition. Usually includes six anterior teeth and eight posterior teeth.

Complete series

A set of intraoral radiographs usually consisting of 14 to 22 periapical and posterior bitewing images intended to display the crowns and roots of all teeth, periapical areas, and alveolar bone crest (source: FDA/ADA radiographic guidelines).

Composite

A dental restorative material made up of disparate or separate parts (e.g. resin and quartz particles).

Compound fracture

Break-in the bone which is exposed to external contamination.

Comprehensive oral evaluation

The patient assessment may include the gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allows a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Comprehensive periodontal evaluation

A periodontal examination is a clinical examination of the periodontium (gums). It is routinely carried out in dentistry and allied specialties. Many different techniques are used around the world.

Conscious Sedation 

A minimally depressed level of consciousness, produced by a pharmacological method, that retains the patient’s ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond normally to tactile stimulation and verbal command. Although cognitive function and coordination may be modestly impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.

Core buildup

The replacement of a part or all of the crown of a tooth whose purpose is to provide a base for the retention of an indirectly fabricated crown.

Coronal

Refers to the crown of a tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry 

Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the functionality) of teeth, gums, and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance. Many dentists refer to themselves as “cosmetic dentists” regardless of their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. This has been considered unethical with a predominant objective of marketing to patients. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry. However, there are still dentists that promote themselves as cosmetic dentists.

Cracked tooth syndrome

A collection of symptoms characterized by transient acute pain experienced when chewing.

Crown

An artificial replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure, or is placed on a dental implant. It is made of metal, ceramic, or polymer materials or a combination of such materials. It is retained by luting cement or mechanical means. (American College of Prosthodontics; The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms).

Crown lengthening

A surgical procedure exposing more tooth for restorative purposes by apically positioning the gingival margin and removing supporting bone.

Curettage

Scraping and cleaning the walls of a real or potential space, such as a gingival pocket or bone, to remove pathologic material.

Cusp

Pointed or rounded eminence on or near the masticating surface of a tooth.

Cuspid

Single cusped tooth located between the incisors and bicuspids.

Cyst

A dental cyst is often slow developing and can sometimes be benign in nature. It is a small pocket of fluid and inflammation that forms in the gums near a pre-emergent wisdom tooth or another tooth in distress.

Cytology

The study of cells, including their anatomy, chemistry, physiology, and pathology.

D

Debridement

Removal of subgingival and/or supragingival plaque and calculus.

Decay

The lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.

Deciduous

Having the property of falling off or shedding; a term used to describe the primary teeth.

Deciduous Dentition 

Deciduous teeth are the official term for baby teeth, milk teeth, or primary teeth. Deciduous teeth start developing during the embryonic stage and then commonly begin to come in about 6 months after birth. There are typically 20 primary teeth — 10 upper and 10 lower.

Dental Implant 

A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. The basis for modern dental implants is a biologic process called osseointegration, in which materials such as titanium form an intimate bond to the bone. The implant fixture is first placed so that it is likely to osseointegrate, then a dental prosthetic is added. A variable amount of healing time is required for osseointegration before either the dental prosthetic (a tooth, bridge, or denture) is attached to the implant or an abutment is placed which will hold a dental prosthetic/crown.

Dental Prophylaxis

Removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the tooth structures. It is intended to control local irritational factors.

  1. prosthesis: Artificial replacement of any part of the body.
  2. definitive prosthesis–Prosthesis to be used over an extended period of time.
  3. dental prosthesis–Any device or appliance replacing one or more missing teeth and/or, if required, associated structures. (This is a broad term that includes abutment crowns and abutment inlays/onlays, bridges, dentures, obturators, gingival prostheses.)
  4. fixed prosthesis–Non-removable dental prosthesis which is solidly attached to abutment teeth, roots, or implants.
  5. fixed-removable prosthesis–Combined prosthesis, one or more parts of which are fixed, and the other(s) attached by devices that allow their detachment, removal, and reinsertion by the dentist only.
  6. interim prosthesis–A provisional prosthesis designed for use over a limited period of time, after which it is to be replaced by a more definitive restoration.
  7. removable prosthesis–Complete or partial prosthesis, which after an initial fitting by a dentist, can be removed and reinserted by the patient.

Dental Prosthesis

dental prosthesis is a dental appliance that replaces a missing tooth or covers up tooth defects. These dental appliances include implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, and veneers, and some of them can be removable or
permanently fixed in your mouth.

dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a surgeon who specializes in dentistry, the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and
conditions of the oral cavity.

Dental Dentin

Hard tissue which forms the bulk of the tooth and develops from the dental papilla and dental pulp, and in the mature state is mineralized.

Dentition

The teeth in the dental arch.

  1. adolescent dentition– Refers to the stage of permanent dentition prior to the cessation of skeletal growth.
  2. primary deciduous (dentition)Refers to the deciduous or primary teeth in the dental arch.
  3. permanent dentition (adult dentition)  Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.
  4. transitional dentitionRefers to a mixed dentition; begins with the appearance of the permanent first molars and ends with the exfoliation of the deciduous teeth.
 

Denture

An artificial substitute for some or all of the natural teeth and adjacent tissues.

Denture base

That part of a denture makes contact with soft tissue and retains the artificial teeth.

Diagnostic Cast

A replica of teeth and adjoining tissues created digitally or by a casting process (e.g., plaster into an impression). “Study model” is another term used for such a replica. Diagnostic casts have various uses, most often the examination of relationships between oral tissues to determine how those relationships will affect the form and function of a dental restoration or appliance being planned or to determine whether tissue treatment or modification might be necessary before a pre-definitive impression is taken to ensure optimal performance of the planned restoration or appliance.

Diastema

A space, such as one between two adjacent teeth in the same dental arch.

Direct Pulp Cap

Procedure in which the exposed vital pulp is treated with a therapeutic material, followed with a base and restoration, to promote healing and maintain pulp vitality.

Distal

Surface or position of a tooth most distant from the median line of the arch.

Dressing

Medication, bandages, or other therapeutic material applied to a wound.

Dry Socket

Localized inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot; osteitis.

E

Edentulous

Without teeth.

Enamel

Hard calcified tissue covering the dentin of the crown of the tooth.

Endodontist

A dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and periapical tissues of the teeth.

Erosion

Erosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by an acid attack. Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity.

 

Excision

Surgical removal of bone or tissue.

Exfoliative

Refers to a thin layer of epidermis shed from the surface.

Extraction

The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.

Extraoral

Outside the oral cavity.

Exudate

A material usually resulting from inflammation or necrosis that contains fluid, cells, and/or other debris.

F

Filling

A lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain.

Fixed partial denture

A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment natural teeth or their implant replacements.

Fixed partial dentures 

Fixed partial dentures, also known as “crown and bridge” dentures, are made from crowns that are fitted on the remaining teeth. They act as abutments and pontics and are made from materials resembling the missing teeth. Fixed bridges are more expensive than removable appliances but are more stable.

FIXED PROSTHESIS

Fixed- removable prosthesis

 

Fixed- removable prosthesis is a custom set of artificial teeth to replace missing or removed teeth. The fixed-removable prosthesis can be removed by the user to make cleaning easier.

Fracture

The breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.  See simple fracture and a compound fracture.

Frenum

Muscle fibers covered by a mucous membrane that attaches the cheek, lips, and or tongue to associated dental mucosa.

Full- Mouth X-rays

A full mouth survey x-ray is composed of a series of individual images, including a combination of bitewing and periapical. Usually, full mouth x-rays are taken when you’re a new patient at your dentist’s office. They use these initial images as a baseline on the health of your mouth.

Furcation

The anatomic area of a multirooted tooth where the roots diverge.

G

General anesthesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

Gingiva

Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.

Gingival Hyperplasia

Gingival hyperplasia is an enlargement or overgrowth of the gum tissue, also known as the gingiva, around the necks of the teeth.

Gingivectomy

The excision or removal of gingiva.

Gingivitis

Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.

Gingivoplasty

The surgical procedure to reshape gingiva.

Graft

A piece of tissue or alloplastic material placed in contact with tissue to repair a defect or supplement a deficiency.

  1. allograft–Graft of tissue between genetically dissimilar members of the same species. Donors may be cadavers, living related or living unrelated individuals. Also called allogenic graft or homograft.
  2. autogenous graft–Taken from one part of a patient’s body and transferred to another.
 
 

H

Hemisection

Surgical separation of a multi-rooted tooth.

High Noble Alloys

Noble and high-noble alloys used in casting crowns are generally based on alloys of gold. Gold is not used in its pure form as it is too soft and has poor mechanical strength. Gold crowns (also known as gold shell crowns) are generally indicated for posterior teeth due to aesthetic reasons.

I

Immediate denture

Prosthesis constructed for placement immediately after removal of remaining natural teeth.

Impacted tooth

An unerupted or partially erupted tooth is positioned against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.

 Implant

Material inserted or grafted into tissue.

  1. dental implant: A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as a means of providing location and support for dental replacement prosthesis.
  2. endosteal (endosseous): Device placed into the alveolar and basal bone of the mandible or maxilla and transecting only one cortical plate.
  3. eposteal (subperiosteal): Subperiosteal implant that conforms to the superior surface of an edentulous area of alveolar bone.
  4. transosteal (transosseous): Device with threaded posts penetrating both the superior and inferior cortical bone plates of the mandibular symphysis and exiting through the per mucosa. It may be intraoral or extraoral.
 

Incisal

Pertaining to the biting edges of the incisor and cuspid teeth.

Incision and drainage

The procedure of incising a fluctuant mucosal lesion to allow for the release of fluid from the lesion.

Incisor

A tooth for cutting or gnawing; located in the front of the mouth in both jaws.

Indirect pulp cap

Procedure in which the nearly exposed pulp is covered with a protective dressing to protect the pulp from additional injury and to promote healing and repair via formation of secondary dentin.

Interim Prosthesis

An interim prosthesis is any sort of temporary prosthetic. It is not designed for long term use and is generally replaced as soon as possible by a permanent prosthesis.

Interproximal

Between the adjoining surfaces of adjacent teeth in the same arch.

Intraoral

Inside the mouth.

Intravenous Sedation

The most common standard conscious sedation technique for adults is intravenous sedation using Midazolam. This requires a needle to be put into a vein to deliver the medication, this is known as an IV cannula. Indications: Reduced dental anxiety and phobia.

J

Jaw

A common name for either the maxilla or the mandible.

L

Laminate veneer

A thin covering of the facial surface of a tooth usually constructed of tooth-colored material used to restore discolored, damaged, misshapen or misaligned teeth.

Lesion

An injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.

Limited Oral Evaluation

The patient assessment may include the gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allow a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Lingual

Pertaining to or around the tongue; the surface of the tooth directed toward the tongue; opposite of facial.

Local Anesthesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

M

Maintenance, periodontal

Therapy for preserving the state of health of the periodontium.

Malignant

Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.

Malocclusion

Improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.

Managed Care

Managed care is a term to describe a number of techniques to reduce the cost of healthcare and to increase the quality of care provided. Sometimes this will include monetary incentives for physicians and patients to select less costly options for care.

Mandible

The lower jaw.

Mandibular Canal

The mandibular canal, also known as the inferior alveolar canal (IAC), is located within the internal aspect of the mandible and contains the inferior alveolar nerve, artery, and vein.

Maxilla

The upper jaw.

Microabrasion

Mechanical removal of a small amount of tooth structure to eliminate superficial enamel discoloration defects.

Mouthguard

An individually molded device designed primarily to be worn for the purpose of helping prevent

Mucous membrane

Lining of the oral cavity as well as other canals and cavities of the body; also called “mucosa.”

N

Noble Alloys

They are certain metals, like gold and palladium, that are used to help make crowns and fillings for teeth. There are other metals used like nickel, chromium, and beryllium; but it depends on who is making the crowns and fillings. 

Night Guard

A nightguard, also known as a dental guard, is prescribed to patients to help treat bruxism, aka teeth grinding. A night guard may also be referred to as an occlusal guard, occlusal splint, or bite splint.

O

 

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Asleep disorder in which a narrowing of the throat or relaxation of the throat muscles causes a short-term blockage of the airway during sleep. This temporarily causes a person to stop breathing.

Obturate

With reference to endodontics, refers to the sealing of the canal(s) of tooth roots during root canal therapy procedure with an appropriately prescribed material such as gutta-percha in combination with a suitable luting agent.

Occlusal

Pertaining to the biting surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth or contacting surfaces of opposing teeth or opposing occlusion rims.

Occlusal radiograph

An intraoral radiograph made with the film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor being held between the occluded teeth.

Occlusion 

Any contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth.

Onlay

A dental restoration made outside the oral cavity that covers one or more cusp tips and adjoining occlusal surfaces, but not the entire external surface. It is retained by luting cement.

Operculectomy

Removal of the operculum.

Operculum

The flap of tissue over an unerupted or partially erupted tooth.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon who treats the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, head, and neck as well as associated structures.

Orthodontic Retainer

Orthodontic retainers are custom-made devices, usually made of wires or clear plastic, that hold teeth in position after surgery or any method of realigning teeth.

Orthodontist

Orthodontists are dental specialists who are University-trained in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. They provide a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, fix bad bites and align the jaws correctly. Multiple methods exist for adjusting malocclusion.

Orthognathic Surgery 

A procedure that uses oral implants to restructure tooth replacement.

Orthotic Device

Osha

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a large regulatory agency of the United States Department of Labor that originally had federal visitorial powers to inspect and examine workplaces.

Osseointegration

Osseointegration is the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing artificial implant.

Osteotomy

Surgical cutting of bone.

Overdenture

A removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained tooth roots or implants.

P

Palate

The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.

Palliative

Action that relieves pain but is not curative.

Panoramic radiograph

An extraoral projection whereby the entire mandible, maxilla, teeth, and other nearby structures are portrayed on a single image as if the jaws were flattened out.

Parotid Glands

The parotid gland is one of the major salivary glands. These glands make saliva. This is the watery substance used to lubricate your mouth and start the digestion process. The parotid gland wraps around the back of your lower jaw.

Partial denture

Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth. See fixed partial denture or removable partial denture.

Pediatric Dentist 

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.

Pedodontist

A dentist who specializes in pedodontics, the care of children’s teeth.

Periapical Cyst

  1. cyst: Pathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.
  2. odontogenic cyst–Cyst derived from the epithelium of odontogenic tissue (developmental, primordial).
  3. periapical cyst–An apical inflammatory cyst containing a sac-like epithelium-lined cavity that is open to and continuous with the root canal.
 

Periapical radiograph

A radiograph made by the intraoral placement of film, phosphorous plate, emulsion, or digital sensor, for disclosing the apices of the teeth.

Periapical X-ray

An Intraoral X-Ray showing the entire tooth structure, above and below the gum, and including images of the surrounding teeth. Most commonly used to detect problems of the root and surrounding area.

Periodic oral evaluation

The patient assessment may include the gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allow a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Periodontal abscess

Acute or chronic localized inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.

Periodontal disease

The inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone.

Periodontal pocket

Pathologically deepened gingival sulcus; a feature of periodontal disease.

Periodontics

Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry that encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function, and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

Periodontist

A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Periodontitis

Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.

Periodontium

tissue complex comprising gingival, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone which attaches, nourishes, and supports the tooth.

Permanent dentition

Refers to the permanent (“adult”) teeth in the dental arch that either replace the primary dentition or erupt distally to the primary molar.

Plaque

A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.

Pontic

The term used for an artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture (bridge).

Post

Rod-like component designed to be inserted into a prepared root canal space so as to provide structural support. This device can either be in the form of an alloy, carbon fiber, or fiberglass, and posts are usually secured with appropriate luting agents.

Posterior

Refers to teeth and tissues towards the back of the mouth (distal to the canines); maxillary and mandibular premolars and molars. The designation of permanent posterior teeth in the Universal/National tooth numbering system include teeth 1 through 5 and 12 through 16 (maxillary), and 17 through 21 and 28 through 32 (mandibular); primary teeth in the Universal tooth numbering system are designated A, B, I and J (maxillary), and K, L, S, and T (mandibular).

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

In health insurance in the United States, a preferred provider organization (PPO), sometimes referred to as a participating provider organization or preferred provider option, is a managed care organization of medical doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who have agreed with an insurer or a third-party administrator to provide health care at reduced rates to the top insurer’s or administrator’s clients.

Premedication

The use of medications prior to dental procedures.

Prophylaxis

Removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the tooth structures. It is intended to control local irritational factors.

Prosthodontics

Prosthodontics, also known as dental prosthetics or prosthetic dentistry, is the area of dentistry that focuses on dental prostheses.

 

Prosthodontist

A prosthodontist is a dental specialist who has received extensive, highly-focused training in tooth replacement and restoration. … Prosthodontists also offer veneers, crowns, and bridges to restore and replace teeth.

Provisional

A restoration or prosthesis placed for a longer time period to enable healing, stabilization, or diagnostic purposes.

Pulp cavity

The space within a tooth which contains the pulp.

Pulpectomy

Complete removal of vital and non-vital pulp tissue from the root canal space.

Pulpitis

Inflammation of the dental pulp.

Pulpotomy

Removal of a portion of the pulp, including the diseased aspect, with the intent of maintaining the vitality of the remaining pulpal tissue by means of a therapeutic dressing.

Q

Quadrant: One of the four equal sections into which the dental arches can be divided; begins at the midline of the arch and extends distally to the last tooth.

R

Radiograph

An image or picture produced on a radiation-sensitive film, phosphorous plate, emulsion, or digital sensor by exposure to ionizing radiation.

Reline

Process of resurfacing the tissue side of a removable prosthesis with the new base material.

Removable partial denture

A removable partial denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth that can be removed by the patient.

Removable prosthesis

Removable prosthetics, dentures for short, are a type of dental device that is designed to replace multiple missing or severely damaged teeth. 

Retainer

  1. orthodontic retainer–Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic treatment.
  2. prosthodontic retainer–A part of a prosthesis that attaches a denture to an abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant body.
 

Root canal

The portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.

Root canal therapy

The treatment of disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.

Root planing

A treatment procedure designed to remove cementum or surface dentin that is rough, impregnated by calculus, or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms.

S

Scaling

Removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.

Sealant

A resinous material designed to be applied to the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth to prevent occlusal caries.

Sextant

One of the six relatively equal sections into which a dental arch can be divided, for example, tooth numbers 1-5; 6-11; 12-16; 17-21; 22-27; 28-32. Sometimes used for recording periodontal charting.

Space maintainer

A passive appliance, usually cemented in place, that holds teeth in position.

Splint

A device used to support, protect, or immobilize oral structures that have been loosened, replanted, fractured, or traumatized. Also refers to devices used in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Stomatitis

Inflammation of the membranes of the mouth.

Sublingual Glands

The sublingual gland is the smallest of the three major salivary glands, which also include the parotid and submandibular glands. The sublingual gland lies between the muscles of the oral cavity floor, which include the geniohyoid muscle, hyoglossus muscle medially, and the mylohyoid muscle inferiorly.

Submandibular Glands

About the size of a walnut, the submandibular glands are located below the jaw. The saliva produced in these glands is secreted into the mouth from under the tongue. Like the parotid glands, the submandibular glands have two parts called the superficial lobe and the deep lobe.

Supernumerary teeth

Extra erupted or unerupted teeth that resemble teeth of normal shape.

T

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

The connecting hinge mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD)

Abnormal functioning of the temporomandibular joint; also refers to symptoms arising in other areas secondary to the dysfunction.

Tomography

An X-ray technique that produces an image representing a detailed cross-section of tissue structures at a predetermined depth.

Torus

A bony elevation or protuberance of bone

Tracheotomy

A surgical procedure to create an opening in the trachea (windpipe) to aid in breathing.

Transitional

Relating to a passage or change from one position, state, phase or concept to another.

Transitional dentition

Refers to a mixed dentition; begins with the appearance of the permanent first molars and ends with the exfoliation of the deciduous teeth.

Treatment plan

The sequential guide for the patient’s care is determined by the dentist’s diagnosis and is used by the dentist for the restoration to and/or maintenance of optimal oral health.

Trismus

Restricted ability to open the mouth, usually due to inflammation or fibrosis of the muscles of mastication.

U

Unerupted

Tooth/teeth that have not penetrated into the oral cavity.

V

veneer

A thin covering of the facial surface of a tooth usually constructed of tooth colored material used to restore discolored, damaged, misshapen or misaligned teeth.

X

Xerostomia

The decreased salivary secretion produces a dry and sometimes burning sensation of the oral mucosa and/or cervical caries.

X-ray

An image or picture produced on a radiation-sensitive film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor by exposure to ionizing radiationErosion is the loss of tooth enamel caused by acid attack. Enamel is the hard, protective coating of the tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivityra