GlossaryAbscess- a swelling caused by an infection resulting in a pus filled hole
Abutment- tooth, root or implant used to support an artificial tooth restoration
Air Abrasion - a method of removing tooth decay without a drill and anesthesia, by using compressed air and fine sand particles.
Alveolar process - the part of the jaw that holds the teeth
Amalgam - a combination of metals, usually including silver, nickel and mercury used to filled cavities in teeth
Anterior - term referring to the front area of the mouth
Apex- the end of the tooth root
Bell's palsy - paralysis of the facial nerve resulting in the permanent or temporary immobilization of the eye on either side of the face . Usually caused by injury or infection
Bicuspids - (premolars) teeth between the canine teeth and molars.
Bonding - a cosmetic procedure in which teeth are coated with composite resin in order to cover stains or improve appearance.
Bridge - an artificial fixed or removable prosthesis replacing one or more teeth.
Calculus - hardened deposit of mineral salts formed around the teeth.
Canine teeth - teeth next to the lateral incisors identified by pointed cusp used for tearing food
Canker sores - painful noncontiguous sores that form inside the mouth and on the lips
Composite resin - a tooth colored mixture of plastic resin and finely ground glass . Used to fill cavities in teeth.
Crown - visible part of tooth covered by enamel. Crown - artificial - (cap) restoration made of metal or porcelain covering damaged tooth.
Cusp- a pointed projection located on the chewing of biting surface of tooth.
Deciduous teeth - (baby teeth) first set of teeth that is later replaced by permanent teeth.
Dentin - a mid part of tooth surrounding the pulp and covered by enamel
Denture - a partial or full set of artificial removable teeth
Enamel - the hard white outer covering of the tooth
Extrusion - the jutting of a tooth beyond it's correct position
Gingivitis - a condition in which the gums are red, swollen and bleeding. Most cases result from poor oral hygiene and the build-up of plaque on teeth
Halitosis - bad breath, caused by tooth decay, gum disease, digestive problems, smoking or some systemic diseases.
Impacted tooth - a condition in which a tooth is unable to erupt normally because of it's position against the gum or bone
Implant - tooth replacement inserted into the bone in order to provide structure for an artificial fixed restoration.
Incisors - (central and lateral) the four front teeth used for cutting food
Malocclusion - (bad bite) abnormal contact between upper and lower teeth
Mandible - the lower jawbone
Maxilla - the upper jawbone
Maxillofacial - relating to the lower half of the face
Molars - back teeth used for grinding food. The furthest (third) molars are also known as wisdom teeth.
Nitrous Oxide - (laughing gas) a gas used as an anesthetic in dentistry and other medical procedures.
Orthodontics - branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis of misaligned teeth.
Overbite - a vertical overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower teeth
Papillae - small projections on the surface of the tongue
Partial - (denture) removable appliance replacing one or more teeth.
Periodontal - relating to the gums and bone structure that surrounds and supports teeth
Plaque - a thin film on the surface of teeth made up of material in saliva containing bacteria
Post - a metal or carbon fiber support used to reinforce a tooth that has had a root canal therapy.
Posterior - term referring to the back part of the mouth
Premolars - see bicuspids
Prosthetic - referring to the artificial part of the human body
Pulp - soft, spongy tissue in the center of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves
Root canal - space in the root of tooth that contains pulp tissue
Root canal therapy - a procedure in which root canal is cleaned, shaped and filled
Tartar - a salivary deposit of calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and organic matter on natural or artificial teeth