A

Abutment

The teeth on either side of a missing tooth. Abutments are the part of the bridge used to support the replacement of the missing teeth (pontics).

Amalgam

Silver filling. Amalgams are usually placed on the back teeth (posterior teeth).

Anesthesia

Relieves the sensation of pain.

Anterior teeth

The front teeth (incisors and cupids).

Arch

The upper or lower jaw.

B

Back teeth

See posterior teeth

Bicuspids

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

Bitewing

X-ray that shows the upper and lower teeth's biting surfaces on the same film. This x-ray shows the portion of the teeth above the gumline.

Bridge

A fixed appliance (prosthesis) that replaces missing teeth. A bridge is a series of crowns (abutments and pontics).

Bruxism

Clenching or grinding of the teeth.

C

Calculus

The sticky film on your teeth (plaque) that has hardened, also known as tartar.

Canal

The narrow chamber inside the root of the tooth that contains the nerve and blood vessels.

Caries

Correct technical term for decay.

Cleaning

See prophylaxis.

Complete series

See full mouth x-rays.

Composite filling

Tooth coloured filling. Insurance companies usually only allow them on the front teeth (anterior teeth). When composites are done on the back teeth (posterior teeth) the insurance company usually pays them as an amalgam. Composites are also known as resin fillings.

Crown

Full coverage for a tooth.

Curettage

Surgical scraping of bacteria from the soft tissue. This is a periodontal procedure and is usually performed one quadrant at a time.

Cusps

The high points on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (posterior teeth).

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, also known as canines.

D

Deciduous teeth

See primary teeth.

Denture

A removable appliance (prosthesis) that replaces all of the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

Diagnostic

Procedures performed by the dentist to identify what's going on in the mouth. The most common procedures you will deal with are the exam and x-ray which trojan classifies as preventive.

E

Edentulous

All the teeth are missing in either the upper or lower arch.

Endo

See endodontics.

Endodontics (endo)

The treatment of diseases or injuries that affect the root tip or nerve of the tooth. The most common procedure that you will deal with is a root canal.

F

Fluoride

Topical application of a gel or liquid that prevents decay.

F.M.X.

See full mouth x-rays.

Front Teeth

See anterior teeth.

Full Mouth X-Rays (F.M.X)

X-rays showing all the teeth, includes 14 periapicals and 2 or 4 bitewings, also known as a complete series.

G

General Anesthesia

Relieves the sensation of pain on the whole body. General anesthesia renders you unconscious.

Gingiva

The gums.

H

Halitosis

An oral health condition characterized by consistently odorous breath.

I

Impaction

An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that will not fully erupt because it is obstructed by another tooth, bone, or soft tissue.

Implant

A post that is implanted in the bone. A crown, bridge or denture is then placed over the implant

Incisors

The central and lateral incisor, those are the first and second teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. These are the front teeth with the flat edges for biting.

Inlay

A laboratory processed restoration made of metal, acrylic or porcelain. This filling does not involve the high points of the tooth (cusps).

J

Juvenile Periodontal Disease

A particularly virulent, rapidly progressive form of periodontal disease affecting adolescents

K

Kevlar

This special man made fibre was originally used in bullet proof vests as it is incredibly tough and resistant to breakage. A new type of dental adhesive bridge utilises Kevlar fibres to reinforce its structure whilst allowing tooth coloured materials to be used for enhanced aesthetics. This Fibre Reinforced Resin Retained Bridge technology (FRRRB) is available at The Dental Clinic

L

Local Anesthesia

Relieves the sensation of pain in a localized area.

M

Mandible

The lower jaw.

Maxilla

The upper jaw.

Molars

The first, second and third molars, those are the sixth, seventh and eighth teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. The back teeth with the large chewing surface on top. They have 4 points (cusps).

N

Nightguard

A removable acrylic appliance to minimize the effects of grinding the teeth (Bruxism) or joint problems. Usually worn at night to prevent the grinding of teeth or relieve joint pain. Also known as an occlusal guard.

O

Occlusal

The chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

Occlusal Guard

See nightguard.

Onlay

A laboratory processed restoration made of metal, porcelain or acrylic that replaces one or more of the highest points of the tooth (cusps).

Oral Surgery (o.s.)

Surgery of the mouth.

Ortho

See orthodontics.

Orthodontics (ortho)

Straightening of the teeth.

O.S.

See oral surgery.

P

P.A.

Common dental language for a periapical. See periapical.

Palate

Roof of the mouth.

Panorex

An x-ray taken outside of the mouth that shows all the teeth on one film.

Partial Denture

A removable appliance (prosthesis) that replaces some of the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

Pedo

See pedodontics.

Pedodontics (pedo)

The treatment of children's teeth.

Periapical

An x-ray that shows the whole tooth (above and below the gumline). Also known as a single film or p.a.

Perio

See periodontics.

Perio Charting

Measures the depth that the gums have detached from the side of the tooth forming a pocket (perio pocket).

Periodontal Maintenance

Cleaning of the teeth following periodontal treatment, includes perio charting. Procedure code 4910. Also known as a perio prophy or perio recall.

Periodontics (perio)

The treatment of diseases of the gum or bone (supporting structure).

Perio Pocket

The pocket that forms when the gums detach from the side of the tooth.

Perio Prophy

See periodontal maintenance.

Perio Recall

See periodontal maintenance.

Permanent First and Second Molars

The adult first and second molars, they are the sixth and seventh teeth from the center of the mouth to the back of the mouth. Does not include the third molar (wisdom tooth).

Permanent Molars

The adult first, second and third molars.

Permanent Dentition

See permanent teeth.

Permanent Teeth

The adult teeth. also known as the permanent dentition.

Plaque

A sticky film on the teeth. If it is not removed by brushing it can harden into calculus.

Pontic

The part of a bridge that replaces the missing teeth.

Posterior Teeth

The back teeth (bicuspids and molars).

Preventive

Procedure performed to prevent decay and gum disease. the procedures that trojan classifies as preventive are the exam, x-rays and prophys. the exam and x-rays are also known as diagnostic procedures.

Primary Dentition

See primary teeth.

Primary Teeth

The baby teeth. also known as the primary dentition. the baby teeth are replaced by the adult teeth (permanent teeth).

Prophy

See prophylaxis.

Prophylaxis

Cleaning the teeth. also known as a prophy.

Prosthetics

A fixed or removable appliance to replace missing teeth. example: bridges, dentures and partials. sometimes single crowns are considered prosthetics.

Prosthodontics

Dealing with the replacement of missing teeth.

Q

Quadrant

One of the four equal sections of the mouth. the upper right, upper left, lower right or the lower left.

R

R.C.T

See root canal therapy.

Root Canal Therapy (R.C.T.)

The nerve of the tooth is removed from the canal inside the root and replaced with a filling material

Root Planing

Deep cleaning of the teeth to remove calculus below the gumline. this is not a prophylaxis. this is a periodontal procedure and is usually performed one quadrant at a time.

S

Sealant

Clear application of acrylic placed over the biting surface of the tooth to prevent decay.

Single Film

See periapical.

T

Tartar

See calculus.

Temporomandibular Joint (t.m.j.)

Temporo (temporal bone), mandibular (lower jaw). this is the connecting hinge between the lower jaw and base of the skull. also known as

Third Molar

See wisdom tooth.

T.M.J.

See temporomandibular joint.

U

Underneath

It is what is underneath the surface of your gums that provides your teeth with the support they need to be secure in the bone of your jaws. A specialised ligament (Periodontal Ligament) attaches the tooth to the bone and also provides some of the important input to your brain on how hard you are biting.

V

Virgin Teeth

Teeth that have no decay or fillings.

W

Wisdom Tooth

The third molar, this is the eighth tooth from the center of mouth to the back of the mouth. wisdom teeth are often impacted (obstructed from erupting) and have to be extracted.

X

Xerostomia

Having little or no saliva in the mouth.

Y

Yawn

Yawning is a normal physiological process that we all do. Excessive yawning can be a sign of disturbed sleep however and this can be due to snoring. If you or your partner snore why not visit The Dental Clinic so that we can investigate further and look at a range of treatments that can help.

Z

Zero Staining

Term applied to foodstuffs that do not stain teeth.

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