Terms and Definitions |
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Terms & Definitions
e.g. pertains to gum disease, implants,
bone grafts; a dentist who specializes in
gum disease is called a Periodontist.
Specializes in children dentistry
Typically refers to extractions or
pulling teeth, implants, jaw and mouth
Is a dentist that specializes in
dentures, crowns and partials
Is a dentist specializing in providing
braces or straightening of teeth
Root canal dental specialist
A clear or shaded plastic material that
is painted directly into the grooves on
the biting surfaces of the back teeth; a
way to prevent most cavities which occur
on back teeth
Gum disease is a chronic inflamation and
infection of the gums and surrounding
Bad breath; originates from the gums and
tongue; it is caused by bacteria from
poor oral hygiene (food and debris in
involves removal of plaque and
calculus. Gingivitis is a mild
form of periodontal disease and
results in the inflammation of
the gums. Severe gum problems
result in bone loss of varying
degrees and needs surgical
removal of plaque and calculus.
or decay occurs when enamel and
dentin in some instances get
demineralized and infected due to
bacteria. Filling is a procedure
in which this infected and
demineralized part of the
tooth/teeth is removed and the
space filled with a choice of
are fillings that are placed on
the chewing surfaces of permanent
teeth to protect the grooves,
pits and fissures from forming
cavities. The procedure involved
is simple, does not need
anesthetics and drilling.
strengthen and protect a weak
tooth structure and improves the
appearance of your teeth. Crowns
can be made from different
materials which include the full
porcelain crown, the porcelain
fused-to-metal crown and the
pain and throbbing, sensitivity
to hot and cold foods, severe
decay or an injury that crates an
abscess (infection) in the bone
of the infected or irritated
nerve tissue that lies within the
root of the tooth. It is this
infected pulp tissue that causes
an eventual abscess.
procedure involves removing the
infected pulp, cleaning and
sealing of the root canal with a
sterile, plastic material, called
gutta percha This is done in
order to prevent possible future
infection. Root canals usually
are followed up with crowns to
protect the tooth from fracture.
loss of a single tooth can have a
major impact on your dental
health and personal appearance.
Your teeth support and rely on
each other. When one or more
teeth are missing, the remaining
teeth can shift out of their
adjacent to the space or from the
opposite jaw will often drift or
tilt. These teeth are often more
susceptible to decay and gum
disease because they are more
difficult to clean around.
of this shifting and drifting
will lead to changes in the bite,
which may put stress on the jaws,
muscles and teeth. Ultimately,
your ability to chew comfortably
and your appearance may be
bridge consists of a replacement
tooth/teeth attached to crowns on
each side. The bridge is cemented
to the teeth adjacent to the
space, effectively replacing the
missing tooth and preventing any
The procedures involved in making
a bridge are very similar to
those for making a crown. Bridges
can be made from the same
materials as crowns - full
fused-to-metal, and all metal.
least two appointments are
necessary. At the first visit,
your dentist will prepare the
teeth next to the missing tooth
for crowns. An impression of the
prepared teeth will be made and a
temporary bridge will be placed.
the subsequent visit, your
dentist will fit and adjust the
bridge and then cement it in
of the main goals of modern
dentistry is the prevention of
tooth loss. All possible measures
should be taken to preserve and
maintain your teeth because the
loss of a single tooth can have a
major impact upon your dental
health and appearance.
it is still sometimes necessary
to remove a tooth. Teeth need to
be extracted when one or more of
the following conditions exist.
teeth or roots
are the choice of patients who
prefer a long lasting cosmetic
solution. Not only do veneers
resolve smile deficiencies like
chipped, gapped, stained, and
misaligned teeth, they also
provide the most beautiful
bonding is a more rapid cosmetic
solution that can be used to mask
stains, close spaces, and repair
fractures. The color of the
bonding material is carefully
matched to the other teeth to
ensure a truly natural
resin composite shaded to match
your tooth can be used more
conservatively than silver
amalgam while strengthening your
tooth at the same time.
(or Bleaching) can brighten your
teeth, diminishing the unsightly
appearance of yellowing teeth. We
provide both plasma arc in office
bleaching (comparable to laser)
as well as a home bleaching
Ceramic Inlays and Onlays:
and onlays can restore large
decay areas and broken down teeth
as well as replace unsightly
silver fillings. Inlays and
onlays are bonded to the missing
tooth structure blending to the
color of the tooth and restoring
the tooth to its original
strength and beauty.
Free - All Ceramic Crowns and
looking crowns without the
unsightly black lines and dull
appearance of porcelain baked to
metal crowns with the same
strength as your natural tooth.
Do you have bad breath, or suspect that
you do? Our discussion about halitosis
will describe how to accurately test your
breath, yourself. It will also explain
how and why the most common cause of bad
breath is bacteria. Read further and
you'll discover where these bacteria
live, how to effectively clean them away,
and learn about specialty products made
to help cure halitosis such as tongue
scrapers and mouthwashes.
Blisters: Outbreaks of cold sores can be
both painful and unsightly. Read about
how the herpes simplex virus causes cold
sores and what triggers cold sore
outbreaks. Learn how to identify cold
sore lesions and what home remedies,
over-the-counter products, and
prescription medications can be used to
help control them.
Ulcers: Outbreaks of canker sores can
range from being mildly annoying to so
painful that they can cause you to limit
mouth movements. Read about what triggers
canker sore outbreaks and how to identify
canker sore mouth ulcers. Learn about
remedies for canker sores, including
over-the-counter and prescription
Cavities: The formation of tooth decay
("cavities") can be a
significant problem some individuals,
either as children or adults. If this is
true for you, don't give up hope. Let us
explain to you how tooth decay can, to a
very great degree, be prevented if you
just understand and practice a very few
Tips for Better Smile
Take a little extra time to give your
teeth the care they deserve.
you know that it takes two to three
minutes to adequately brush your teeth
but that most people spend less than 30
seconds brushing ? Why is brushing this
long so important ? It all has to do with
bacteria. Millions of bacteria live,
work, and play in our mouths. They feed
on food left on our teeth after we eat.
Acid is a by-product of this bacterial
feasting. It is this acid which destroys
enamel creating cavities. Brushing
removes bacteria from our teeth so they
can no longer make acid. It is important,
however, to remove bacteria from all
tooth surfaces. This takes two to three
Do a little flossing. It just might save
so you've heard that you need to floss at
least once a day. But has anyone ever
told you why. You see it all has to do
with bacteria again. These crafty
critters like to hide between teeth to
escape the wrath of the toothbrush. Here
they continue to feed on food spewing out
cavity causing acid. Worst yet - if
allowed to remain for a long time, these
bacteria invade and destroy gum tissue as
well as the bones and ligaments which
support teeth. Flossing removes these
bacteria from between teeth so they can
no longer cause problems.
Its not just the candy that is dangerous
to your smile.
you know that many foods other than candy
promote tooth decay ? Bacteria feed on
the sugar of candy creating cavity
causing acid. Bacteria, however. not only
use candy to create acid but can also use
any food which contains sugars and other
carbohydrates. This includes fruits,
peanut butter, crackers, potato chips,
popcorn, and others.
harmful can be foods like raisins and
peanut butter that stick to teeth where
they provide a constant source of energy
can you do to protect yourself ? Brushing
well after meals helps by removing both
the bacteria and the left over food
particles which the bacteria feast on. If
you can not brush, try washing food down
with liquids ensuring that less food
remains on teeth. Chewing sugarless gum
also helps because this stimulates saliva
flow. Saliva acts as a natural plaque
Stop brushing so hard.
nearly two out of three people damage
their own teeth by brushing too hard ! It
takes very little pressure to remove
bacteria, food, and plaque.
Unfortunately, most people apply three to
four times the necessary brushing
pressure causing damage to teeth and
gums. This damage includes: receding
gums, sensitive teeth, notched teeth, and
Reduce your dependency on coffee.
it or not, coffee is one of the most
dangerous threats to your smile. Coffee
stains teeth destroying your naturally
white smile. Worst yet, because most
people sip coffee throughout the day,
bacteria are provided with a constant
source of sugar from which to produce
cavity causing acid. If that wasn't bad
enough, coffee can cause small fractures
in teeth called crazes. These occur when
the teeth are forced to expand and
contract as a result of being exposed to
hot foods or liquids. These hot and cold
cycles occur when we drink hot coffee.
Over a prolonged period of time, this
will create crazes in the teeth.
for Beautiful Smile
your teeth after every meal and before going to
sleep. Remember, if you want to clean your teeth
well you need only a small amount of toothpaste
and a lot of brushing, at least two minutes.
should brush your teeth at least ten
times on each side, rotating the brush in
your hand from the pink (gum) to the
your wear a fixed appliance, don't eat
sticky foods like toffee or chewing-gum.
Always cut hard food like carrots,
apples, and celery into little pieces so
you won't break your appliance.
your toothbrush frequently, at least
every two months.
out your appliance whenever you play
sports, and put it in the box.
your appliance for the amount of
recommended time: You'll be finished
your appliance breaks or bother you, call
your orthodontist for an appointment
immediately and bring the broken parts
that your orthodontist and your parents
can help you have a beautiful smile, but
you're on the same team. Try hard to
follow their advice and you'll come out a
brushing helps minimize the risk of tooth decay
and gum disease, the major causes of tooth loss.
Use a soft-bristle brush and an ADA-accepted
fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and food
particles. Replace your brush every three months.
outer and inner surfaces, brush at a 45-degree
angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against
chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush
back and forth
inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush
vertically and use gentle up and down strokes
with toe of brush.
the tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to
remove food particles and freshen your mouth.
daily removes plaque and food particles between
teeth and below the gumline.
an 18-inch strand around your middle fingers and
hold a one-inch section tightly.
floss between teeth. Clean up and down several
times while curving around teeth at the gumline.
floss behind the last tooth. Unwind clean floss
as you proceed.
around the abutment teeth of a bridge and under
artificial teeth using a floss threader.
may experience sore or bleeding gums for the
first several days you floss. If bleeding
continues after the first week of flossing, call
your dental professional. If you have trouble
handling floss, ask your dentist about the use of
a floss holder, or other types of interdental
Dental Dictionary (PDD)
PDD is designed to provide you with explanations
of common dental related terms, procedures and
Amalgam - an alloy of mercury, silver, tin, etc.
used in dental restorations.
Apicoectomies - amputation of the tip or end of
the root end of a tooth to treat an infection.
Bonding - adhering a tooth colored substance to
repair and/or change the color or shape of a
Bridges - a fixed partial denture which is a
prosthetic replacement of one or more missing
teeth cemented or attached to abutment teeth or
implants adjacent to the space; removable partial
denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or
more missing teeth on a framework that can be
removed by the patient.
Crown - the portion of the tooth covered by
enamel. Also a type of restoration that covers
all or most of the natural tooth.
Dental Implants - A manufactured material placed
in or on the jawbone to aid in replacing missing
Dentures - an artificial set of teeth that is
Endodontist - a specialist who performs root
canal and treats diseases and infections of the
Extractions - removal of teeth
Fillings - restoring of lost tooth structure by
using materials such as: metal, alloy, cement,
porcelain or synthetics.
Frenectomies - removal of the frenum ( the thin
cord of tissue that attaches the upper or lower
lips to the gum or the tongue to the floor of the
General Anesthesia - a controlled state of
unconsciousness, accompanied by a partial or
complete loss of pain sensation, protective
reflexes, including loss of ability to
independently maintain airway and respond
purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal
General Dentist - A general practitioner of
dentistry Gingivitis - inflammation of gum tissue
Impacted Tooth - an unerupted or partially
erupted tooth that is positioned against another
tooth, bone, or soft tissue so that complete
eruption is unlikely.
Inlays - a cemented type of restoration which is
made to fit an internal/external preparation
resulting from the loss of healthy tooth
Incision and Drainage - making an incision in an
abscess to drain out the puss.
Local Anesthesia - elimination of the sensation
of pain, in one part of the body by the topical
application or regional injection of an
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon - a specialist
who deals with the diagnosis & treatment of
diseases, injuries, and deformities of the mouth
and supporting structures
Periodontist - a specialist who treats the gums
and supporting structures of the teeth.
Plaque - a soft sticky substance that accumulates
on teeth composed largely of bacteria and
Porcelain Crowns - a porcelain cap which covers
the crown of the tooth to repair it or change the
shape and/or color.
Porcelain Veneers - A thin layer of porcelain
adhered to a surface of a tooth to repair or
change the color and/or shape.
Prosthodontist - a dentist who specializes in the
restoration of teeth, replacement of missing
teeth and maintaining proper occlusion.
Root Canal - removal of the pulp of a tooth and
filling with an inert material.
Root Resections - removal of a root of a tooth
while retaining the crown.
Sleep Apnea - a disorder which is potentially
fatal in which a person who is asleep may stop
breathing multiple times for more than 10
Tartar - also called calculus. A hard deposit
containing bacteria which adheres to teeth.
TMJ Disorder - A disease process of the jaw joint
and or its muscles.
Tooth whitening - a process to lighten the color
to Dental Hygiene
you'll find games, information sheets, and
answers to many questions you might have about
your oral health.
Oral Health Topics
information on an oral health topic related to
you and your family's oral health care in our A-Z
topic listing. Also, get answers to frequently
asked questions about resolving complaints or
disputes, cleaning teeth and gums, gum disease,
dental insurance, and much more.