Call Us: 905-775-5307

905-775-5307
Home » Patient Resources » Dental Glossary

Dental Glossary

Dental Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dental definitions, Dentistry terms / dictionary, Dentist terminology.

A
Abscess:  A build up of pus resulting from the infection of a tooth or the gum tissue.

Abutment:  Supports a fixed or removable dental bridge used to replace a missing tooth.

Alveolar bone: The part of the jaw bone that surrounds and anchors tooth roots.

Amalgam fillings: Made of nickel, silver and mercury, and is used to fill the areas of a tooth after
a dental cavity has been removed.

Apicoectomy:  The removal of the apex (tip) of a tooth root.

B
Bicuspid:  The “two-pointed”  teeth located between the incisors/canines and molars.

Bleaching:  A type of teeth whitening treatment used to lighten or whiten teeth.

Bonding: A technique used to bind an artificial material with the surface of a tooth for restorative purposes

Braces:  A tool designed to correct the misalignment of teeth for functional or cosmetic purposes.

Bridge:  A type of prosthetic appliance that is used for the purpose of replacing a missing tooth or teeth.

Broken Teeth:  A crack or piece of tooth broken off.

Bruxism:  Defined as the habitual clenching or grinding of the teeth at night.

Bruxomania: A nervous condition in which a person involuntarily grinds their teeth while awake.

C
Calculus: or tartar is hardened mineralized plaque that adheres to the crowns and roots of the teeth.

Canker Sore:  A type of open sore (ulceration) affecting the lips or lining of the mouth.

Canines:  Are located between the incisors and premolars.

Cantilever Bridge:  Used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

Cap:  Refers to a crown covering one of the frontal teeth.

Caries:  The technical term for the progressive decay of a tooth or teeth.

Cementum:  A fibrous connective tissue that envelopes the root of a tooth.

Chipped Teeth:   A small piece of tooth cut or broken off.

Clenching:  Forcibly closing the jaws and teeth together, potentially causing structural damage to the teeth and/or bite.

Composite Fillings: Are bonded to a tooth to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry:  A specialized field of dentistry that focuses on purely aesthetic treatments designed to improve the appearance of the teeth.

Crooked Teeth:  Teeth that are bent or curved, not in the natural position.

Crown:  A type of restorative prosthetic appliance that is used to replace all or part of a missing tooth.

Cuspid:  located in between the incisors and premolars.

D
Decay:  A slow degradation of a tooth as a result of acid production generated by the bacterial digestion of sugars.

Deciduous Teeth:  Are the primary teeth that are eventually replaced by the permanent teeth.

Dental Braces:  Are designed to correct the misalignment of teeth for functional or cosmetic purposes.

Dental Floss:  Nylon string (waxed or un-waxed) used to clean the spaces between the teeth as part of regular dental hygiene.

Dental Implant:  A type of prosthetic device that is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone, onto which an artificial tooth, crown or bridge can be anchored.

Dental pain:  An ache or pain that is localized around a tooth or teeth.

Dental Plaque:  Is a sticky build up of saliva, food and bacteria that becomes attached to the teeth.

Dentures:  Artificial teeth that are intended for the partial or complete replacement of missing teeth.

Diastema:  Refers to the space between the front two incisors on the upper jaw.

Dry Mouth Syndrome:  A condition that is caused by the body’s inability to produce adequate levels of saliva in the mouth.

E
Enamel:  The hard white substance on the outside of the tooth and it is one of the most mineralized substances in the body.
Emergencies:  Severe disease or pain requiring immediate dental care.

Endodontics:  A specialized field of dentistry that is focused on root canal therapy.

Exodontia:  A branch of dentistry that specializes in the simple or surgical extraction of teeth.

Extraction:  The simple or surgical removal of a tooth or teeth.

F
Family Dentistry:  The field of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth & gums.

Filling:  A substance that is inserted into a hollow part of the tooth to restore the tooth shape or gradation.

Fixed Bridge:  A porcelain ceramic tooth replica, that is bonded to two adjacent porcelain-crowned teeth without the ability to remove it.

Floss:  Nylon string (either waxed or un-waxed) used to clean the spaces between the teeth as part of regular oral hygiene practice.

Fluoride:  A type of topical gel / liquid for the purpose of warding off tooth decay.

Full Mouth Reconstruction /Bite Reconstruction: Involves multiple procedures involved in correcting a person’s bite or smile

G
Gapped teeth:  Teeth that have noticeable spaces in between.

General Dentistry: The field of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth & gums.

Gingiva: The technical term for gum tissue, the gingiva surrounds the roots of the teeth and jawbone.

Gingivitis:  A disease of the gum tissue that can cause inflammation and bleeding.

Gum Disease:  A dental condition that causes inflammation of the gum tissue.

Gummy Smile:  A condition in which a high lip line exposes an abnormal level of gum tissue.

H
Halitosis: Bad breath that can result from gum disease, tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems or systematic abnormalities.

Headaches:  Head pain brought on by mouth or tooth pain.

I
Implants:  A type of prosthetic device that is inserted into the upper or lower jawbone, onto which an artificial tooth, crown or bridge can be anchored.

Incisors:  The front teeth located in between the canines.

Indirect Fillings: If a tooth is damaged past the point in which a traditional dental filling can serve as treatment, while at the same time not being damaged enough to warrant a dental crown, an indirect filling may be used.

Inlays:  Are restorative devices that can be used in place of dental fillings to treat tooth decay / damage.

Invisalign Invisible Braces:  Braces made of a substance the colour of teeth so they look invisible.

L
Laser Dentistry: Field of dentistry that incorporates the use of high-tech lasers in performing dental procedures.

Local Anesthesia:  A local anesthetic is a type of medication that is administered to numb the pain in a specific (localized) area of the body.

M
Malocclusion:  Refers to the misalignment of the lower (mandibular) and upper (maxillary) teeth.

Mandibular Teeth:  The lower portion of the jaw.

Maxillary Teeth:  The upper portion of the jaw.

Molars:  Back teeth that are used for grinding / chewing food.

N
Narrow Implants:  A narrower type of dental implant developed specifically for people whose teeth prevent the use of traditional implants.

Night Guard:  A type of plastic dental appliance used to inhibit the grinding or clenching of teeth at night.

Nitrous Oxide:  Also referred to as ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide (N2O) is a commonly used dental anesthetic.

Novocain:  The brand name for an older type of local anesthetic .

O
Occlusion:  The technical term for a person’s ‘bite,’ an occlusion refers to the way in which the mandibular (lower) and maxillary (upper) teeth align when the jaw is closed.

Onlays:  Are restorative devices that can be used in place of dental fillings to treat tooth decay / damage.

Oral Cancer:  Malignancy affecting the oral cavity.

Oral Sedation:  Sedation modality in which a patient takes an oral sedative prior to an appointment to induce relaxation.

Oral Surgery:  A type of surgery pertaining to the jaws or mouth.

Oral Thrush:  A fungal infection of the mouth presenting with open sores or lesions.

Orthodontics:  A field of dentistry specializing in straightening the teeth and correcting any related growth abnormalities.

Overbite:  A vertical overlap of the upper teeth over the lower teeth.

P
Pediatric Dentistry:  A specialized field of dentistry focused on the treatment of children’s dental problems.

Periodontitis:  A serious progression of gum disease that can result in the loss of teeth if not properly treated.

Periodontal Surgery:  A type of surgical procedure that provides treatment to structurally damaged gum or connective tissue.

Periodontics:  A specialized field of dentistry that revolves around the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gum and supportive tissues of the oral cavity.

Permanent Teeth:  Consisting of 32 teeth, the permanent or adult teeth follow the loss of the deciduous teeth.

Plaque:  Like tartar, plaque is a sticky build up of saliva, food and bacteria that attaches to the teeth.

Pontic:  A type of artificial tooth mounted on a fixed dental bridge and used to replace a missing natural tooth.

Premolars:  Term reserved for the teeth that are located in between the cuspids and molars.

Prenatal Dentistry:  Dentistry pertaining to pregnant women.

Preventative care:   The practice of daily cleaning/care of teeth to prevent disease or tooth decay.

Prosthodontics:  A specialized field of dentistry that revolves around the replacement of missing teeth with artificial alternatives.

Pulp:  A soft tissue located in the centermost part of a tooth.

R
Receding Gums:  Commonly associated with poor oral hygiene, infection or old age, receding gums refers to the loss of gum tissue.

Resin Bonded Bridge:  Used to replace missing front teeth, providing that the adjoining teeth do not have extensive dental fillings or unhealthy gums.

Retainer:  A dental retainer is a type of orthodontic appliance that helps to maintain the alignment of teeth following corrective orthodontic treatment.

Root:  The root of a tooth is the section that is embedded in the jawbone, anchoring it in place.

Root Canal:  The hollow area located at the center of a tooth.

Root Canal Therapy:  A dental procedure through which damaged/diseased soft tissue is removed from the interior of a tooth, replaced with a permanent filling and capped with a dental crown.

S
Scaling:  Refers to the removal of plaque and other such staining from the surface of a tooth.

Sealant:  A type of composite material that is used as a bond to seal teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Secondary Teeth:  Also referred to as the permanent teeth, the secondary teeth are those that develop after the baby, or primary, teeth.

Sedation Dentist:  Dental professional who specializes in the practice of sedation dentistry.

Sedation Dentistry:  Is a specialized dental service designed for people suffering from the extremes of dental phobia.

Sleep Apnea:  A type of sleep disorder during which sufferers experience temporary cessation of breathing during sleep.

Sleep Dentistry:  Sedation dentistry is often referred to as “sleep dentistry;” however, this term is somewhat misleading as patients do not actually sleep while sedated.

Sjogren’s Syndrome:  An autoimmune disorder attacks the exocrine glands, resulting in the cessation of tear and saliva production.

Stomatitis:  An oral health condition causing the temporary inflammation of the mucosal membranes inside the mouth.

Stomatology:  A branch of medicine that involves the study of diseases and disorders of the mouth.

T
Tartar:  Like plaque, tartar is a sticky build up of saliva, food and bacteria that becomes attached to the teeth.

Teeth Whitening:  Refers to the common practice of ‘whitening’ teeth through a variety of methods, notably laser teeth whitening and bleaching.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ):  links the jawbone to the base of the skull.

TMJ Syndrome: Is a serious condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, limiting a person’s ability to open and close his or her jaw.

Toothache:  An ache or pain that is localized around a specific tooth or teeth.

V
Veneers:  A type of thin material that is used for restorative or aesthetic purposes, veneers are manufactured from porcelain or composite materials.

W
Waterlase Dental Laser:  A type of dental laser developed by BIOLASE Technology that utilizes hydrokinetic energy to remove enamel and soft tissue with extreme precision and virtually no heat or discomfort.

Whitening:  Refers to the common practice of ‘whitening’ teeth through a variety of methods, notably laser teeth whitening and bleaching.

Wisdom Teeth:  Commonly referred to as the ‘back teeth’ or ‘back molars,’ wisdom teeth sprout at a mature stage (hence their name) usually when a person is between 17 and 25 years of age.

X
Xerostomia:  Technical classification of dry mouth syndrome.

Z
Zoom Whitening:  Zoom whitening is an in-office teeth whitening system.

If you would like to book an appointment to have more questions answered about your dental health, dental definitions, dentistry terms / dictionary, dentist terminology, please call us at: 1-877-283-0497

Post Tagged with,