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  • TMJ
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  • Xerostomia
  • X-Ray

Defining Oral Health Terms


- Common after infection or inflammation, this is a swollen and often fluid-filled area in the mouth.


- Placed on the back of the teeth, or posterior teeth, amalgams are silver fillings.


- A sedative that helps remove any feeling of pain. It can be done administered in doses that may or may not leave the patient conscious.


- The surgical removal of a dental root apex. Also called root resection.


- The upper or lower jaw.


- The amount an insurance company will pay toward a particular dental procedure.


- The back teeth that are used for chewing, they only have two points (cusps), are the fourth and fifth teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. Also known as the first and second bicuspids.


- An x-ray that shows the portion of the teeth above the gum line, thus showing the upper and lower teeth's biting surfaces on the same film.


- The process of using chemicals, heat or a combination of both, to remove stains and whiten teeth.


- A technique or procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with a highly durable material, usually resin, that attaches itself to the existing enamel on the patient’s tooth... more


- An artificial replacement, that may be temporary or permanent, of a single tooth or multiple teeth, supported by adjacent roots or by natural teeth... more


- The grinding of one’s teeth, usually done unconsciously and at night while the individual is asleep. It may usually be resolved with the placement of a mouth guard to prevent any contact of the upper and lower rows of teeth if it is caught early. If not properly diagnosed and treated this may result in an extensive process of numerous dental procedures... more


- Also known as tartar. It is the sticky film on your teeth, or the plaque, that has hardened.


- Containing the nerve and blood vessels, this structure is a narrow hollow inside the root of a tooth.


- Tooth decay or cavities.

Cleft Palate

- A result of a birth defect, it is when the top of the mouth has improperly fused, thus leaving a gap that may extend into the lip area. It may be fixed through a surgical procedure.

Cosmetic Dentistry

(Search for Dentist) - Dental procedures whose only purpose is to improve the appearance of the patient with no treatment to a functional defect.


- Also known as canines, they are the front teeth, or the third teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth, that have one rounded or pointed edge used for biting.


- The most common procedures that dentists perform, which include x-rays and oral exams. They are performed in order to determine if any necessary and supplement procedures are required to treat any possible damage/defect/infection.


- Usually due to the presence of bacteria, it is the structural damage of the teeth.

Dental Benefits

- The fixed payment amounts, deductibles, and copays that have been set by the policy agreement of the insurance company for specific dental related procedures.


- Between the pulp and the outer enamel, it is the middle layer of the tooth.

Dry Socket

- If infection or an improper formation of a clot forms after the extraction of a tooth it may result in this painful inflammation of the cavity.


- Located above the gum line, it is the hard and visible covering of the tooth. Once destroyed it is gone, so the treatment and sustaining of the enamel is imperative.


(Search for Dentist) - Also known as root canal therapy; it is the treatment of the inside of the tooth as a result of the inflammation of infection of the pulp.


- The process of replacing loss tooth structure with metal, porcelain, or plastic, in order to restore function to the damaged tooth.


- Commonly called the gum, it is the lining of the mouth that extends up the neck of the tooth.


- Without the involvement of other tissue, it is the inflammation of the gingival. This inflammation may or may not cause pain and must be treated immediately.

Impacted Tooth

- A tooth that is being blocked from emerging due to the presence of bone, another tooth or tissues that remain in its way.


- The surgical insertion of an anchor and prosthetic replacement for a loss of a tooth in the lower or upper jaw line with the complete appearance and function of a natural tooth... more


- Also called indirect fillings, this is an alternative to traditional fillings when too much damage has been done to the tooth leaving little structural support for the filling. This procedure repairs an area which lays within the cusps or bumps of a tooth. It consists of removing tooth decay or a previous filling, making impressions of the tooth, positioning the permanent inlay, assuring proper fit, and cementing it into place.... more


- The upper or lower bone structure of the mouth in which teeth are set.


(Search for Dentist) - Done for cosmetic purposes, it is a thin porcelain shell that is attached to the front surface of the teeth to give a brighter appearance. This material is a trademarked product and is usually done with no significant removal to the enamel.


- Used primarily for grinding, these teeth are located in the back of the mouth and are thick and much flatter than other teeth.

Mouth Guard

- A plastic protector that is removable and customized to the mold of the patient’s teeth to protect them from injury.


- The contact made and the fit of the upper and lower teeth when biting or chewing.


- Another type of indirect filling, it involves the same process as an inlay. The difference in this procedure is that it repairs more extensive damage and are sometimes known as partial crowns because they cover one or more cusps... more


(Search for Dentist) - The dental specialty which concerns itself with teeth alignment and any consequences that may result from misalignment, including the abnormalities of nerves and skeletal structures.

Pediatric Dentistry

(Search for Dentist) - The oral health care and dentistry of patients from birth to adolescence.


(Search for Dentist) - The dental specialty that concerns itself with the tissues and structures that support the teeth.


- The inflammation of tissues that support the teeth, but do not result in the loss of any connective tissue or bone.


- The result of bacteria and bacterial growth, it is a film or layered deposit on the teeth .

Preventative Dentistry

- Practices that have been established to improve the overall oral health of a patient that may reduce the risk of injury or tooth decay.


(Search for Dentist) - The dental specialty that concerns itself with the replacement of lost or damaged teeth by using prosthetics with appear and function as natural teeth do.


- The blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue which feed and support a tooth.


-A hard setting plastic material that is compatible with teeth and therefore used as a filled and bonding agent in dental procedures.


- The part of the tooth that is within the gum and jaw line and is not covered with enamel.

Root Canal

- This may be one of two things. A) Anatomical Definition: The portion of the root that contains the pulp. B) The procedure that treats this area when it has been badly damaged and decayed... more


- Produced by the salivary glands in the mouth, it is the watery fluid that aids in swallowing, digestion and some protection against infection.


- A material that is attached to the surfaces of teeth to prevent excessive damage.


- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is the abnormal function of the jaw, the jaw joint or other surrounding facial muscles. This joint allows for the individual to move the mouth so that they may speak, chew, swallow, etc... more


- A porcelain shell that is used to cover the teeth, by attaching it to their surface, because of damage to the teeth or because they are aesthetically displeasing... more

Wisdom Teeth

- Often called "third molars," are the last teeth to develop. They come in between the ages of 17 and 25.


- An excessively dry mouth due to the inability to produce a sufficient amount of saliva for the best possible oral health... more


- An imaged produced by ionizing radiation on the portion of the body that one wishes to observe. Dental x-rays focus on the teeth and the underlying and surrounding structures of the mouth.
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