4310 Medical Parkway, Suite 120, Austin, TX 78756

Phone: 512-451-5183 | Fax: 512-451-2539

Hours: Monday - Thursday: 7AM - 3PM

Dental Dictionary

Abscess


A collection of pus. Usually forms because of infection.

Abutment


A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge, denture, or implant.

Amalgam


A silver filling material.

Anesthetic


An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior


The frontal position

Apex


The end of the root.

Asepsis


No micro-organism.

Attrition


Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing or clenching

Avulsed


An injury that causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of the mouth

Bitewing


A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavities in between teeth and height of bone support

Bleaching


Whitening of teeth.

Bridge


A prosthesis which is fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth

Bruxism


Teeth grinding.

Canine


The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are four of them. They are the longest teeth in humans

Canker sore


An ulceration with a yellow base and red border in the mouth. It can be caused by trauma or a virus

Caries


Tooth decay.

Cavity


A hole on the tooth.

Cast


A model of teeth.

Cementation


The process of "gluing" the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area.

Chlorhexidine


An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum disease

Clasp


A metal arm extended from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold onto natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture

Cold sore


An ulcer or blister on lip caused by a virus

Composite


White filling.

Cross-bite


An abnormal structure bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth align toward the cheek/lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)


A crown is almost like a "cap" on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.

Decay


Bacterial demineralization or enamel and dentin

Dentistry


A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concerning teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures

Dentition


The position, type, and number or teeth in upper and lower jaw

Denture


(Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture/temporary)
An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures. There are many different types of dentures to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences.

Desensitization


A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diagnosis


The process of identifying dental disease.

Diastema


The space between two adjacent teeth.

Distal


A direction indication in the mouth. It indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw.

Edentulous


No teeth.

Endodontics


A department of dentistry involving diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels are inside the tooth)

Eruption


The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision


The action of cutting something off.

Extruded


When a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket.

Filling


A repair placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance

Flipper


A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.

Floss


A thread-like tape that goes in between teeth for cleaning

Fluoride


A compound of fluorine (an element) which can be put in different forms such as water, gels, and rinses to strengthen teeth

Fluoride Treatment


Treatment used on the teeth with fluoride agents like gel or rinse in order to prevent tooth decay

Fracture


A crack in a tooth which occurs when a cusp of a tooth becomes weakened

Framework


A metal skeleton of removable partial dentures to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments

Gingivitis


The mildest form of gum disease, which includes inflammation and bleeding of the gums

Hemorrhage


Bleeding

Hemostasis


Stop bleeding.

Impaction


A condition where a tooth is not able to come in normally or is stuck underneath another tooth of bone

Impression


A mold taken with putty-like material

Incisal


The cutting edge of front teeth.

Incisor


The four upper and lower front teeth

Inlay


A restoration (usually gold, composite, or ceramic) that cements on a tooth like a puzzle piece. It helps to restore the normal function and shape of the tooth

Interproximal


The space between two adjacent teeth.

J


K


Lingual


The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

Mesial


The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Molar


The last three upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth.

Mouthguard


A device to be worn in the mouth. Depending on the design of it, it prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sporting events

Nightguard


A mouthguard which is worn at night to prevent bruxism

Occlusal


The biting surface of the back teeth.

Occlusion


The way the upper and lower teeth fit together

Onlay


A restoration that covers the entire biting surface of the teeth

Open bite


The situation where the upper teeth do not contact the opposing lower teeth

Orthodontics


A special field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bit abnormalities or facial irregularities

Over bite


The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together

Overhang


The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity or tooth

Palate


The roof of the mouth.

Panoramic Radiograph


An x-ray film used to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures

Perforation


An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Periapical


The area around the bottom of the root of a tooth

Periodontics


A specialty of dentistry that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease

Permanent teeth


Adult teeth

Pin


A piece of metal used for better retention of a filling

Polish


A process to make the tooth or filling smooth and gloss

Pontic


The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth

Post


A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup of tooth

Posterior


Located at the back.

Pre-authorization


An approval from the particular authority (insurance company) before any treatment is carried out

Premolar


The two teeth located in front of the molar.

Prescription


A written statement from a doctor or pharmacist regarding the type, the amount, and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, a prescription can also be a written statement for preparation of an appliance from a dentist to a lab technician

Primary teeth


Baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy


The procedure of teeth polishing and prevention of diseases

Prosthesis


An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures

Prosthodontics


A specialty of dentistry involving diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures

Pulp


The innermost part of a tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels

Pulpectomy


The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Pulpotomy


The removal of the top part of the pulp

Q


Radiograph


An x-ray picture.

Recall


The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.

Recementation


The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area

Restoration


An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area of the mouth (filling, crown, bridge, etc.)

Retainer


A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.

Retreatment


The process of repeating the root canal treatment.

Root


The bottom part of the tooth, which anchors the tooth to the bone

Root canal


The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels

Root canal treatment


A treatment for the root canal

Root planing


The action of cleaning the root area of teeth

Rubber dam


A rubber sheet that fits around teeth in order to isolate the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity

Scaling


The action of cleaning teeth below the gumline.

Sealant


A thin layer of plastic-like material covering the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity.

Sedation


The use of medication to calm a patient.

Space Maintainer


An appliance to maintain the space between teeth.

Splint


An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)


The joint that links the two parts of the jaw.

Tori


An outgrowth of bone, which usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area

U


Veneer


A layer of tooth-colored material (porcelain, composite, or ceramic) that attaches to the front of the tooth in order to improve the appearance of the tooth

Wisdom tooth


The eighth tooth from the middle of the jaw

Xerostomia


Dry mouth

Y


Z