Dental definitions, Dentistry terms / dictionary, Dentist terminology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Veneers: A type of thin material that is used for restorative or aesthetic purposes, veneers are manufactured from porcelain or composite materials.
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.
Xerostomia: Technical classification of dry mouth syndrome.
Zoom Whitening: Zoom whitening is an in-office teeth whitening system.