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Dental Terms

Abrasion Removal of tooth structure due to rubbing and scraping (e.g. incorrect brushing method).

Abscess A collection of pus, usually formed because of infection.

Abutment A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge or a denture.

Amalgam A silver filling material.

Anesthetic An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior The front position.

Apex The end of the root.

Asepsis No micro-organism.

Attrition Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing.

Bitewing A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth bite together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavity in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bleaching Whitening of teeth.

Bridge A prosthetic fixtureplaced inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.

Bruxism Teeth grinding.

Canine The third tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Canker sore An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth that can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.

Caries Tooth decay.

Cavity A hole on the tooth.

Cast A model of teeth.

Cementation The process of "glue" the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area.

Chlorhexidine An anti-microbial agent that is available in many forms such as gels and rinses and serves as an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.

Clasp A metal arm extends from a removable partial denture that helps to hold on to natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

Cold sore An ulcer or blister on lip that can be a form of herpes simplex.

Composite White filling.

Cross-bite An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal) A crown is almost like a "cap" on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.

Decay The rotten part of the tooth.

Dentistry A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concern about teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures.

Dentition The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw.

Denture An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures.

Denturist The person who specializes in fabricating dentures, and not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment.

Desensitization A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diagnosis The process of identifying dental disease.

Edentulous Having no teeth.

Eruption The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision The action of cutting something off.

Flipper A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.

Floss A thread/tape goes in between teeth for cleaning.

Fluoride A compound of fluorine used in different forms such as water, gels, rinses to strengthen up teeth.

Fluoride Treatment Teeth treatment with fluoride agents like gel or rinse applied to prevent tooth decay.

Framework A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments.

Gingivitis The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum.

Hemorrhage Bleeding.

Homeostasis Stop bleeding.

Impaction A condition that a tooth is not able to come in normally or stuck underneath another tooth or bone.

Implant A device put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.

Impression A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.

Incisal The cutting edge of front teeth.

Incisor The four upper and lower front teeth.

Interproximal The space in between two adjacent teeth.

Lingual The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

Mesial The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Molar The last 3 upper and lower teeth on both side of the mouth.

Mouthguard A device to be worn in the mouth and prevents injury on teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sport events.

Occlusal The biting surface of the back teeth.

Occlusion The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.

Onlay A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth.

Open bite A condition in which the upper teeth are not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Over bite The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Overhang The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity.

Palate The roof of the mouth.

Panoramic Radiograph An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.

Perforation An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Periapical The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth.

Permanent teeth Adult teeth appearing at around 6 years.

Pin A piece of metal usually used for better retention of a filling.

Polish A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.

Pontic The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.

Post A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon utilized to support a big buildup on a tooth.

Posterior Located at the back.

Pre-medication Medication needs to be taken before treatment.

Premolar The two teeth located in front of the molar.

Primary teeth Baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy The procedure of teeth polishing, also means the prevention of diseases.

Prosthesis An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulp The inner most part of a tooth containing nerves and blood vessels.

Pulpectomy The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Radiograph An x-ray picture.

Recementation The process of glueing the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area.

Retainer A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontictreatment.

Retreatment The process of repeating the root canal treatment.

Root The bottom part of tooth anchoring the tooth to its supporting units.

Root planing The action of cleaning on the root area of teeth.

Rubber dam A rubber sheet that fits around teeth and isolates the area from the rest of the oral cavity.

Scaling The action of cleaning of teeth below the gum-line.

Sealant A thin layer of plastic-like material covers the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity.

Sedation The use of medication to calm down and immobilize a patient.

Space Maintainer An appliance to maintain the space in between teeth.

Splint An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

Tempro-mandibular Joint The joint that links two jaws.

Torus An outgrowth on bone that usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area on the lower jaw.

Veneer A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth.

Wisdom tooth The eighth (also the last tooth) tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Xerostomia Dry mouth.

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