Dental Dictionary

AllA B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T V W X
There are currently 111 names in this directory

Abscess

An accumulation of pus, usually caused by an infection.

Abutment

A tooth structure or tooth that is used as an anchor for a bridge or denture.

Amalgam

A metal-alloy filling material.

Anesthetic

An injectable drug that causes a reversible loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior

The front section.

Apex

A root’s end point.

Asepsis

The absence of bacteria, viruses and micro-organisms.

Attrition

Tooth wear caused by activities such as chewing.

Avulsed

An injury where a tooth is pulled or knocked completely out of the mouth.

Bitewing

A type of dental x-ray taken with the teeth biting together. The purpose is to detect cavities in between teeth and measure the height of the bone support.

Bleaching

Using chemicals to whiten the teeth.

Bridge

A prosthesis used to replace missing teeth inside the mouth.

Bruxism

The grinding of teeth.

Canine

Also known as cuspid or eye teeth, there are two canines on each jaw, located third from the middle of the jaw on each side.

Canker sore

An ulceration in the mouth, often caused by trauma or acidic foods. Identified by a yellow base and a red border.

Caries

A breakdown of the tooth, caused by bacteria.

Cast

Also known as a dental impression, this is a positive reproduction of the teeth.

Cavity

Also known as dental caries, this is a hole or decay in the tooth.

Cementation

Gluing a dental appliance or prosthesis to a tooth.

Chlorhexidine

An anti-microbial agent that comes in gels and rinses, it is effective in preventing diseases of the gum.

Clasp

The metal arm that extends from a removable partial denture, helping to anchor the denture by attaching to the natural tooth structure.

Cold sore

A form of herpes simplex virus, this is a blister or ulcer on the lip.

Composite

A non-metallic, white filling.

Cross-bite

A misalignment of the bite between the upper and lower jaw, where the lower teeth align toward either the cheek or tongue more than the upper teeth.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

A crown is a cap placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.

Decay

The destruction of the tooth enamel and dentin caused by bacteria-produced acid in the mouth. Must be treated by a dentist.

Dentistry

The branch of medicine involving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any disease concerning teeth, the oral cavity and its associated structures.

Dentition

The development and arrangement of teeth in the upper and lower jaw.

Denture (Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture/temporary)

An artificial replacement for teeth, gums and their neighbouring structures. There are many different types of dentures and options for treatment.

Denturist

A specialist who fabricates dentures but does not diagnose or provide any other dental treatment.

Desensitization

A treatment to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diagnosis

The identifying of dental disease.

Diastema

A space or gap between two teeth.

Distal

An indication of direction away from the middle of the jaw.

Edentulous

Lacking teeth.

Endodontics

A branch of dentistry involving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp, which is where a tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are located.

Eruption

Also known as teething, this is the process of a tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision

The medical act of cutting something off.

Extruded

When a tooth is partially pushed out of its socket.

Filling

Material placed on a damaged tooth to restore its appearance and function.

Flipper

A temporary replacement denture for missing teeth, used while a long-term treatment is fabricated.

Floss

A thread or tape that is used to clean between teeth.

Fluoride

A compound containing fluorine that strengthens teeth. Can be applied in water, gels and rinses.

Fluoride Treatment

Using fluoride gels or rinses to treat the teeth, which helps to prevent decay.

Fracture

A crack in the tooth that occurs when a tooth is weakened. If the crack extends into the root, it can result in damage to the pulp.

Framework

The metal skeleton that supports false teeth and the plastic attachments in a removable partial denture.

Gingivitis

An inflammation of the gums and a mild form of gum disease. Early symptoms include bleeding and swelling.

Hemorrhage

Bleeding.

Hemostasis

To stop the flow of blood.

Impaction

A condition where a tooth is obstructed by another tooth or bone, and is unable to come in normally.

Implant

A device placed in the jawbone to support a denture, a bridge or a false tooth.

Impression

A mold of the teeth made in a jelly-like material applied to a tray.

Incisal

A front tooth’s cutting edge.

Incisor

The four front teeth on the upper and lower jaws.

Inlay

A piece of material that is fabricated in the lab and cemented on a tooth to restore its normal function and appearance.

Interproximal

The area between two adjacent teeth.

Lingual

The side of the tooth closest to the tongue.

Mesial

The side of the tooth closest to the middle of the jaw.

Molar

The last three teeth on the upper and lower jaw on both sides of the mouth.

Mouthguard

A device placed in the mouth to prevent injury to teeth and jaw during tooth grinding or sports.

Nightguard

A mouthguard that is worn to prevent grinding during sleep.

Occlusal

A back tooth’s biting surface.

Occlusion

The manner in which the upper and lower teeth close together.

Onlay

A restoration covering a tooth’s entire biting surface.

Open bite

When the upper teeth are not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Orthodontics

A branch of dentistry involving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of facial irregularities and bite abnormalities.

Over bite

When upper and lower teeth overlap when they close together.

Overhang

Filling material that hangs beyond a cavity’s border.

Palate

The mouth’s roof.

Panoramic Radiograph

The wide view image of the upper and lower jaw and their associated structures, taken on x-ray film.

Perforation

An opening on an oral structure or tooth.

Periapical

The surrounding of the tip of a tooth’s root.

Periodontics

A branch of dentistry involving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of gum disease.

Permanent teeth

Also known as adult teeth, these teeth usually appear at around 6 years of age.

Pin

A thin, cylindrical piece of metal, usually used to support a filling.

Polish

A procedure to make a tooth, filling or other denture glossy and smooth.

Pontic

The artificial tooth in a bridge or denture that replaces the missing tooth.

Post

A pin used in a dental restoration to support or stabilize a crown or build up on a tooth.

Posterior

Located toward the back of the mouth.

Pre-authorization

An approval from the patient’s insurance company that is obtained before any treatment is carried out.

Pre-medication

Medication taken before a dental procedure.

Premolar

The two teeth positioned in front of the molar.

Prescription

A written statement from a doctor to a pharmacist stating the type, amount and direction for use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, a prescription can also be used by a dentist to order an appliance from a lab technician.

Primary teeth

Also known as baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy

The process of polishing teeth, which helps in the prevention of diseases.

Prosthesis

An artificial device used to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Prosthodontics

A branch of dentistry providing diagnosis, treatment, planning and fabrication of artificial devices to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulp

The innermost section of a tooth, containing the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves.

Pulpectomy

The complete removal of a tooth’s pulp.

Pulpotomy

The removal of the top part of a tooth’s pulp.

Radiograph

An x-ray image.

Recall

A regular appointment for a check-up and teeth cleaning.

Recementation

To re-glue an appliance or prosthesis back into place.

Restoration

A device used to restore the normal function and appearance of a tooth. Fillings, crowns and bridges are common restorations.

Retainer

An orthodontic apparatus that helps maintain the position of teeth in a jaw.

Retreatment

To repeat a root canal after the initial treatment fails.

Root

The bottommost part of a tooth, which anchors it to its supporting structures.

Root canal

The canal inside a tooth’s root that contains its nerves and blood vessels.

Root canal treatment

To treat a tooth’s root canal.

Root planing

To clean a tooth’s root area.

Rubber dam

A rubber sheet used to isolate the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity.

Scaling

To clean the teeth below the gum line.

Sealant

A thin layer of material used to smooth a tooth’s grooves and pits to prevent cavities.

Sedation

To use medication to calm and soothe a patient.

Space maintainer

A device that maintains the space between teeth.

Splint

An appliance or material that prevents a mobile part from moving.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

The hinge that joins the lower jaw to the temporal bones of the skull.

Torus

A bony growth that sometimes develops on the mouth’s roof or the lower jaw’s premolar area.

Veneer

A tooth-coloured layer of material that attaches to the front of the tooth to improve its appearance. It is usually made from porcelain, composite or ceramics.

Wisdom tooth

The eighth and last tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Xerostomia

Also known as dry mouth.