Abscess - a swelling caused by an an infection resulting in a pus filled hole
Air Abrasion - a method of removing tooth decay without a drill and anesthesia, by using compresed 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
Apicoectomy - the surgical removal of the apex after which the open end of the root is sealed with filling.
Abutment The teeth on either side of a missing tooth - tooth, root or implant used to support an artificial tooth restoration
Anatomy 1)The arangement of the bones in your skeleton 2) The study of the arrangement of the bones in your skeleton.
Antiseptic A chemical agent which can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.
Anesthetic A drug which a doctor or dentist uses to put you, your mouth, or some other part of your body asleep so you do not feel any pain during dental or medical procedures.
Anterior An adjective used to describe things pertaining to your your Centrals, laterals and cuspids (your front teeth).
Arch Collectively, either the teeth or the basal bone of either jaw.
Articulator A special holder for models of your teeth. The articulator holds the models in the same alignment as your jaw so the orthodontist can look carefully at your bite.
Asepsis The avoidance of potentially pathogenic microorganism. In practice,it refers to those techniques which aims to exclude all microorganisms.
Aspirator A tube like a straw which the dentist puts in your mouth to suck up all the saliva.
Aspiration Removal of fluids from your mouth with an aspirator.
Alveolus A opening in your jaw-bone in which a tooth is attached.
Apex The very bottom of the root of your tooth
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 apperance.
Bridge - an artificial fixed or removable prosthesis replacing one or more teeth.
Bruxizm - the habit of tooth grinding, usually during sleep, often resulting in loose or worn teeth, gum recession, destruction of the supportive bone and TMJ disorders.
Buccal The tooth surface which is next to your cheeks. Usually only posterior teeth touch your cheeks, so people usually use the term "buccal" only when talking about your back teeth.
Canine teeth - teeth next to the lateral incisors identified by pointed cusp used for tearing food
Canker sores - painfull noncontagious 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 coverad by enamel. Crown - artificial - (cap) restoration made of metal or porcelain covering damaged tooth.
Calculus A hardened deposit of mineral salts formed around the teeth when you do not brush your teeth. Calculus is also known as tartar.
Caries Another name for a cavities (tooth decay)
Cavity A small hole in one of your teeth caused by tooth decay.
Cementum A bony substance covering the root of a tooth.
Central The two upper and two lower teeth in the very center of your mouth.
Cross contamination Passing bacteria, viruses or AIDS indirectly from one patient to another through the use of improper sterilization procedures, unclean instruments, or "recycling" of orthodontic products.
Cuspal The chewing or tearing points of the cuspids, bicuspids, and molars - a pointed projection located on the chewing of biting surface of tooth.
Curettage -A periodontal procedure where your gums are scraped to remove bacteria.
Cuspid -The pointy teeth just behind the laterals. These teeth have one cuspal (or point). Cuspids are also called canines.
Decalcification -The loss of calcium from your teeth. This weakens your teeth and makes them more succeptable to decay
Deciduous teeth - (baby teeth) first set of teeth that is later replaced by permanent teeth.
Dentin -The calcium part of a tooth below the enamel containing the pulp chamber and root canals.
Denture -A synthetic replacment for all of your teeth in either your upper or your lower jaw - a partial or full set of artificial removable teeth
Diagnosis -the process of identifying the nature of a disorder.
Direct contamination- Direct contact with impurities or germs. (for example by a Patient sneezing on the assistant.)
Disinfection- A cleaning process which destroys of most microorganism, but not highly resistant forms such as bacterial and mycotic spores or the AIDS virus.
Disinfectant A chemical agent which is applied onto inanimate surfaces, for example chairs, to destroy germs.
Disposable materials materials intended for one use and discarded. (e.g.: Gloves, paper gowns, cotton rolls, sponges, etc.)
Distal Behind towards the back of the mouth. For example you might say that the first bicuspid is distal to the cuspid.
Edentulous Someone is said to be edentulous whene all of their teeth are missing from either their upper or lower jaw.
Enamel - the hard white outer covering of the tooth
Endodontics - an area of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp and the tissues at the root apex
Endodontist (Endo) A dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of diseases or injuries that affect the root tips or nerves in your teeth.
Erupt, Eruption When a new tooth comes in, the tooth is said to erupt when the tooth breaks through the surface of your gums, so you can see the tooth in your mouth.
Exfoliate to fall out. (Your Deciduous teeth exfoliate and permanent teeth erupt into the space.)
Extraoral Outside of your mouth. For example, neck pads are sait to be extra oral products since they go outside of your mouth.
Extrusion - the jutting of a tooth beyond it's correct position
Filtrum the dimple or indentation under the nose directly above the upper lip.
First Bicuspid The teeth just behind the cuspids. These teeth have two cuspals (or points)
First Molar The teeth just behind the second bicuspids. These teeth have a level surface with four cuspals.
Fluoride A chemical solution or gel which you put on your teeth. The flouride hardens your teeth and prevents tooth decay.
Frenum Small pieces of pink colored skin that attach your lips, cheeks and tongue to your mouth. Examples include the piece of skin under your tounge which sticks out when you pick up your tongue, and the piece of skin which sticks out when you pull out your lips.
Gingivae Another name for your gums
Gingival hypertrophy The abnormal enlargement of the gingiva surrounding the teeth caused by poor oral hygiene.
Gingivitis The inflammation of your gums caused by improper brushing. The first sign of periodontal (gum) disease. Most cases result from poor oral hygiene and the build-up of plaque on teeth
Gums- The pink areas around your 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 normaly because of it's position against the gum or bone
Incisors - (central and lateral) the four front teeth used for cutting food
Impacted tooth An unerupted tooth that somehow has gotten stuck and cannot come in.
Implant - A replacement for one of your missing teeth. - tooth replacement inserted into the bone in order to provide structure for an artificial fixed restoration.
Incisal The biting edge of your centrals and laterals.
Interproximal the space between adjacent teeth
Intraoral Inside your mouth. For example, orthodontic rubber bands are called intraoral products since the rubber bands are designed to go in your mouth.
Irrigation the technique of using a solution to wash out your mouth and to flush debris.
Labial The tooth surface next to your lips or things mounted on the tooth surfaces next to your lips.
Lateral The teeth just adjacent to the centrals.
Lingual The tooth surface next to your tongue or things mounted on the tooth surfaces next to your tongue.
Mandible Your lower jaw
Mandibular Pertaining to your lower jaw
Masticate To chew your food and mix the food with saliva
Maxilla Your upper jaw
Maxillary Pertaining to your upper jaw
Mesial Forward or front. For example your cuspid is mesial to you bicuspid. The mesial surface of your bicuspid is the part of the bicuspid closest to your cuspid.
Midline A plane through the very center of your mouth perpendicular to your nose.
Mixed dentition The situation when both deciduous and permanent teeth are present.
Occlusal the chewing or grinding surface of the bicuspid and molar teeth.
Occlusal plane the imaginary surface on which upper and lower teeth meet.
Occlusal radiograph the only x-ray that is taken without a precision(tm) x-ray holder. The x-ray film for this procedure is shaped like a large oatmeal cookie. You are asked to bite on the x-ray film and the top of the x-ray machine is positioned over your nose for a maxillary occlusal x-ray or under your chin for a mandibular occlusal film. The x- ray shows the whole arch.
Oral pertaining to the mouth.
Osteoblasts Cells which aid the growth and development of teeth and bones.
Osteoclasts Cells which help create the sockets in bones. For example osteoclasps create the openings in your jaw bone to hold your teeth.
Pathogens disease producing organisms that can exist in many different places. (e.g.: Air, dust, counter top surfaces, the body, etc.)
Pathology the study of abnormal (diseased) tissue conditions.
Pedodontist (Pedo) A dentist who specializes in the treatment of children's teeth.
Periapical x-ray of individual teeth or groups of teeth.
Periodontist (Perio) A dentist who specializes in the treatment of diseases of your gums.
Plaque is a colorless, odorless, sticky substance containing acids and bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Periodontal Pertaining to your gums. For example periodontal desiese is gum disease.
Periodontist A dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease.
Posterior An adjective used to describe things pertaining to the back of your mouth or your back teeth.
Prophylaxis Cleaning your teeth
Prosthodontist A dentist who specializes in the replacement of missing teeth.
Proximal Refers to the surfaces of teeth that touch the next tooth; the space between adjacent teeth is the interproximal space.
Pulp The soft inner structure of a tooth, consisting of nerve and blood vessels
Pulp Chamber The very inner part of your tooth containing nerve cells and blood vessels.
Pulp canal Another name for the pulp chambe
Radiograph Another name for an x-ray
Root canal A procedure where the nerve of a heavily decayed tooth is removed from the tooth replaced with a filling material
Sagittal plane The longitudinal vertical plane that divides the mouth into two halves (left and right.)
Sanitization A cleaning process which reduces germs to a "safe" level.
Second Bicuspid The teeth just behind the first bicuspids. These teeth also have two cuspals (or points)
Second Molar The teeth just behind the first. These teeth also have a level surface with four cuspals.
Space maintainer A gadget used to maintain a space in your mouth. You would use a space maintainer when you lose one of your baby teeth. The space maintainer will keep a space in your mouth until a permenant tooth comes in to fill the space.
Sterilization A process where a medical material is treated to remove all possible germs and other forms of life
Supernumerary teeth Some people have extra teeth. These are called "supernumerary teeth".
Tartar Another name for calculus
TMJ An abreviation for the "temporomandibular joint" The "temporomandibular joint" is the joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull.
Treatment card a sheet of special index card used to record treatment progress.
Archform the shape of the dental arch. For example the orthodontist could say that you have a horseshoe archform or a "v"-shaped archform.
Closed bite A malocclusion where your upper teeth cover your lower teeth when you bite down. This is also called a "deep bite."
Crossbite A malocclusion where some of your upper teeth are inside of your lower teeth when you bite down.
Crowding An orthodontic problem caused by having too many teeth in two small of a space.
Crown angulation a tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped forward or backward to correct the angle of the crown.
Crown inclination a tooth movement in which the root of the tooth is tipped toward cheeks (lips) or toward the lingual (palate) of the mouth.
Deep bite excessive overbite; closed bite.
Dentition the arrangement of the teeth.
Diastema a space between two teeth.
Drift Unwanted movement of teeth.
Extrusion Tooth movement in the direction of eruption. Natural extrusion: teeth grow until there is contact with another tooth. Mechanical extrusion: to pull the teeth so that it extends farther out of your gums.
Fixed appliance any orthodontic component that is cemented or bonded to the teeth.
Flared teeth A term used to indicate the position of the teeth. The upper teeth are flared lingually (toward the lip).
Full orthodontic treatment -Getting braces
Inclination -the angle of the long axis of a tooth from a particular line of reference; the tilt or tip of a tooth.
Interocclusal registration- a wax bite which is used to see how your teeth come together
Interproximal stripping -reduction of the enamel of the teeth on both sides of the tooth. This procedure is preformed to create space for crowded teeth.
Intrusion- movement of a tooth back into the bone.
Lingual appliances- orthodontic appliance fixed to the inside of your teeth. i.e. Lingual appliances are attached to the part of your teeth next to your tongue.
Lingual arch -An orthodontic wire attached from molar to molar in the inside of your teeth.
Lingual retainers-a variation of the lingual arch going from cuspids to cuspid.
Malocclusion - Poor positioning of your teeth - (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.
Orthodonticts - branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis of missaligned teeth.
Overbite - a vertical overlaping 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 the surface of teeth made up of material in saliva containing bacteria
Pontic - the artificial tooth of the fixed bridge that replaces natural tooth
Post - a metal or carbon fiber support used to reinforce a tooh that has had a root canal therapy.
Posterior - term refering to the back part of the mouth
Premolars - see bicuspids
Prosthetic - refering to the artificial part of the human body
Prosthodontics - branch of dentistry that deals with replacement of damaged or missing teeth
Pulp - soft, spongy tissue in the center of the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves
Pulpectomy - the complete removal of the tooth's pulp.
Pulpotomy - partial removal of the tooth's pulp
Root - The part of your tooth in your gums
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
Third Molar - The teeth just behind the second molars. These teeth also have a level surface with four cuspals.
Tartar - a salivary deposit of calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and organic matter on natural or artificial teeth
TMJ - (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) a missaligment of the joint connecting upper and lower jaw resulting in muscle and joint pain in the jaw area.
Unerupted Tooth - a tooth that has not pushed through the gum and assumed its correct position in the dental arch
Veneer - plastic or porcelain facing bonded directly to a tooth to improve its appearance
Wisdom Teeth - third (last) molars that usually erupt at age 18-25
Xerostomia - dry mouth or decrease in the production of saliva