Dental Terms

Courtesy of AGD

Amalgam: silver/mercury alloy used to fill cavities [read more…]

Bleaching: cosmetic whitening of teeth using peroxide [read more…]

Caries: cavities, tooth decay [

Carcinogenic: cancer-causing

Cariogenic: decay-causing

Composites: tooth-colored restorative materials [read more…]

Cosmetic dentistry: aesthetic improvement of the color and shape of teeth performed by a general dentist [read more…]

Edentulous: having lost most or all of the natural teeth

Endodontist: treats oral conditions that arise as a result of disease or injury of the dental pulp of the tooth, such as a root canal

General dentist: primary care provider for patients in all age groups who take responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services to meet patients’ oral health needs  [read more…]

Geriatric dentist: general dentist who primarily treats senior citizens

Gingivitis: reversible inflammation of gum tissue not including the bone

Malocclusion: misalignment of teeth and or jaws

Microair abrasion: a drill-free technique using an instrument resembling a tiny sand blaster that delivers tiny aluminum oxide particles to the surface, where they cut away the decayed area

Mouthguards: an appliance used to protect teeth from injury[read more…]

Occlusal surface: the chewing surface of the tooth

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon: treats and surgically corrects diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth and jaws

Oral pathologist: examines oral tissues for evidence of suspected abnormalities such as cancer.

Orthodontics: a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth and their correction, as by means of braces and retainer [read more…]

Orthodontist: designs and applies corrective and supportive appliances, braces, to realign crooked teeth

Pediatric dentist: provides treatment and care for children from birth through adolescence

Periodontal disease: inflammation and irritation of the gums which, if left untreated, can cause the jawbone and teeth to deteriorate and fall out [read more…]

Periodontist: diagnoses and treats diseases of the tissues supporting and surrounding the teeth, especially periodontal disease

Plaque: bacterial colonies which have mineralized and attack teeth, causing dental decay

Porcelain veneers: ultra-thin shells of ceramic material bonded to the front of the tooth  [read more…]

Prophylaxis: professional cleaning of the teeth by a dentist or hygienist

Prosthodontist: constructs artificial appliances designed to restore and maintain oral function by replacing missing teeth and other oral structures such as dentures

Public health dentist: concerned with the dental health needs of entire communities, and can design and administer large-scale prevention and dental care programs by compiling and analyzing statistics

Radiosurgery: surgery technique that uses radio waves to produce a pressureless, bloodless incision; can also be used to heat bleaching agents

Resin: plastic material used in bonding, restorative, and replacement procedures

Restorative dentistry: process of restoring missing, damaged or diseased teeth to normal form and function, performed by general dentists

Sealant: plastic coating used to protect teeth from decay  [read more…]

Special patient: person with a disability who requires particular dental care needs

Third molars: wisdom teeth [read more…]

TMD: temporomandibular disorder; problems relating to your temporomandibular joint which include locking of the jaw, frequent headaches, sore jaw muscles, and painful clicking of the jaw [read more…]

TMJ: temporomandibular joint

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