Glossary

Abscess - Fluoride

abscess an infection caused by a decayed tooth

anesthesia

 

a type of medication that results in partial or complete elimination of pain sensation; numbing a tooth is an example of local anesthesia; general anesthesia produces partial or complete unconsciousness
anterior directed towards the front of the mouth
antibiotic substance that can destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria.
bone augmentation procedure that corrects a lack of bone
bar a connector between two or more implants, which helps to keep a denture in place
basal underneath, on the basis
bicuspid also called premolars. Usually the fourth and fifth teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth (small molars). These teeth are used for chewing. Adults have eight bicuspids, two in front of each group of molars.
biocompatible capable of existing in harmony with the surrounding biologic environment.
bone resorption decrease in the amount of bone supporting the roots of teeth; a common result of periodontal (gum) disease.
bridge dental prosthesis fixed to teeth next to a tooth gap; replaces one or more missing teeth
buccal facing the cheek
CAD/CAM computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing
cap common term for a dental crown
canines also known as cuspids, the third tooth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. These are the front teeth that have one rounded or pointed edge used for biting
caries holes formed in the teeth due to the activity of microorganisms
cement a substance used in the repair of teeth e.g. for fastening crowns
cementum hard tissue that covers the root and neck of a tooth
clasp device that holds a removable partial denture to natural teeth
cleaning removal of plaque and tartar from teeth, generally above the gum line
computed tomography (CT) scan imaging method involving a radiographic beam passing through human tissues. The collected information can then be digitally coordinated and displayed on a computer monitor or film. Created image data can be used for three-dimensional guidance systems during implant placement.
conventional denture a loose denture to replace teeth
coronal belonging to the crown of a tooth
crown

(1) the portion of a tooth above the gum line that is covered by enamel

(2) dental restoration covering all or most of the natural tooth; the artificial cap can be made of porcelain, composite, or metal and is cemented on top of the damaged tooth

cuspids also known as canines, the third tooth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. These are the front teeth that have one rounded or pointed edge used for biting
decay destruction of tooth caused by acid produced by bacteria
dentin inner layer of tooth structure, immediately under the surface enamel
denture a removable replacement of artificial teeth for missing natural teeth. Two types of dentures are available -- complete and partial. Complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain
edentulous without teeth
enamel the hard, mineralized material that covers the crown
epithelium top cell layer of the mucosal tissue
eruption the emergence of the tooth from its position in the jaw
extraction removal of a tooth
facial

(1) belonging to the face

(2) the surface of the tooth or appliance nearest the lips or cheeks

filling restoration of lost tooth structure with moldable material that sets in the cavity. A filling made by a dental laboratory is called "inlay" (usually gold or ceramic)
floss a thread-like material used to clean between the contact areas of teeth; part of a good daily oral hygiene plan
fluoride a mineral that helps strengthen teeth enamel making teeth less susceptible to decay. Fluoride is available in food or water, in most toothpastes or can be applied as a gel or liquid to the surface of the teeth by a dentist

Gingiva - Lateral

gingiva the soft pink tissue that surrounds the base of the teeth
gingivitis inflamed, swollen, and reddish gum tissue that may bleed easily when touched or brushed. It is the first step in a series of events that begins with plaque buildup in the mouth and may end -- if not properly treated -- with periodontitis and tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth
guided surgery implant surgery supported by a drill guide to find the right position for an implant
hygienist a licensed dental professional who uses preventive, therapeutic, and educational methods to control oral disease
immediate/final denture a complete or partial denture that is made in advance and can be positioned immediately after teeth are removed
immediate loading expose dental implants to chewing forces immediately after implantation. May vary from same-day implant loading to shortly-delayed loading depending on availability of the dental laboratory.
implant an artificial tooth root made of titanium which replaces a missing tooth. It looks like a screw that is only a few millimeters long and carefully engineered.
impression a mold made of the teeth and soft tissues to cast replacement teeth
incisors four upper and four lower front teeth. These teeth are used primarily for biting and cutting
interim/temporary prosthesis a fixed or removable dental prosthesis designed to improve esthetics and function of teeth for a limited period of time, after which it is to be replaced by a final dental prosthesis. Often such prostheses are used to determine the effectiveness of a specific treatment or the form and function of the final prosthesis.
jaw bone the hard bone that helps to support the face and in which teeth are anchored
lateral sideways

Mandible - Root

mandible the lower jaw
masticatory apparatus Together with jaw, jaw joints and muscles, the teeth build the masticatory apparatus, which helps us chew, speak and smile.
maxilla the upper jaw
membrane a thin layer of tissue
molars three teeth in the back of the mouth behind premolars used for grinding food
mouth guard a device often used during sports activities that is inserted into the mouth and worn over the teeth to protect them against impact or injury
nerve (root) canal the internal chamber of a tooth where nerves and blood vessels pass (dental pulp)
nerve a bundle of fibrous tissue that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit motor and sensory information from one body part to another tissue that conveys sensation, temperatures and information on position to the brain
oral cavity medical term for the mouth
oral hygiene process of maintaining cleanliness of teeth and related structures
oral surgeon a healthcare provider who performs many types of surgical procedures in the oral cavity
orthodontist a healthcare provider who specializes in diagnosis, prevention, interception and treatment of "bad bites", the teeth and surrounding structures through use of bands, wires, braces, etc.
osseointegration integration of a dental implant in the bone
overdenture any removable dental prosthesis that rests on soft tissue and can be connected to dental implants
palate the roof of the mouth
partial denture a removable denture that replaces some of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw
periodontitis a disease in which the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets and bone is destroyed
permanent teeth teeth that replace primary teeth. Usually adults build 32 permanent teeth
plaque a white, sticky film formed by saliva proteins that attach to the tooth. Bacteria then stick to this film and produce a matrix. The food we eat helps bacteria grow and mature.
primary teeth first teeth of a human being, also called milk or decidous teeth, which are shed and replaced by permanent teeth.
prophylaxis instruction and motivation to clean teeth in order to prevent periodontitis and tooth decay
prosthesis a fixed or removable tooth replacement (e.g. dental bridge, dentures)
prosthodontist a dental specialist who restores or replaces teeth with fixed or removable prostheses
pulp the living inside part of the tooth that contains nerve tissue and blood vessels that supply the tooth with nutrients
restoration return tooth function by replacing a missing or damaged tooth. This can be done directly, i.e. inside the mouth, with e.g. fillings. A tooth can also be restored indirectly, i.e. outside the mouth, through crowns, bridges, dental implants, etc.
root tooth structure that connects the crown to the jaw
   
 
 
 

Saliva - X-rays

saliva clear fluid in the mouth
sedative a type of medication used to reduce pain and anxiety
sensitivity tooth sensitivity refers to a sharp, sudden, painful reaction in teeth when exposed to hot, cold, sweet, sour, salty, chemical or mechanical stimuli
sterile free from diseases, bacteria, viruses and living microorganisms
tartar also called calculus. A hard, yellow or dark deposit that forms on teeth through dead bacteria in plaque, by calcium salts in the saliva and fluids from underneath the gums.
trauma injury caused by external force, chemicals, temperature extremes or poor tooth position
ultrasound the use of ultrasonic waves in therapy or diagnostics in order to e.g. see internal structures or for deep-heat treatment
veneer a thin, custom-made shell of tooth-colored plastic or porcelain that is attached to the front of a natural tooth to improve its appearance
wax-up finished wax pattern for any dental prosthesis
wisdom tooth last molar that usually erupts at age 18-25
x-rays to examine, photograph or treat with electromagnetic radiation