Dental Glossary

General anesthesia

a drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. This type of treatment is preferred for young children who require multiple appointments for large amounts of caries or abscessed teeth. Treatment can be done in one visit and in a safe environment. It also prevents dental anxiety for future visits.

Cavity

A cavity may be due to decay, erosion or abrasion. If caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion. 

Complete denture

A prosthetic for the toothless maxillary or mandibular arch, replacing the full dentition. Usually includes six front teeth and eight back teeth. 

Root Canal

The tiny canals contain the pulp of the tooth also commonly referred to as the nerve, which originates from the pulp chamber. Any trauma or infection of the nerve will result in the need for root canal therapy. Common reasons for root canal therapy include:

  • Tooth decay invades the tooth, penetrating through the enamel and then the dentin in to the pulp.
  • A tooth has become abscessed- also known as infected- from decay.
  • Trauma, such as a chipped or broken tooth, occurs and results in the exposure of the nerve.
  • A tooth is slowly dying, due to aging or past trauma that did not result in the need for treatment at the time of injury.

Crown

An artificial replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure, or is placed on a dental implant. It can be made of metal, ceramic or polymer materials or a combination of such materials. It is retained by luting cement or mechanical means.

Dental implant

A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as in replacing a missing tooth by utilizing an artificial root. 

Composite

A tooth colored dental restorative material made up of separate parts

Sealant

For young patients, a tooth colored material applied to the biting surfaces of posterior teeth to prevent occlusal caries.

Extraction

The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts. 

Bridge

A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment(neighboring teeth) teeth or implant replacements. 

Filling

A term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy or composite resin. 

Periodontal Disease

Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and or periodontal membrane of the teeth resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone. Treatment in mild moderate disease requires scaling and root planning (deep cleaning). In severe cases, perio surgery and/ or extractions are required.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

The third molars, known simply as wisdom teeth, erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years old. The average person's mouth will comfortably hold 28 of the 32 teeth we are predisposed to have. Since the wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt, there is often little room left to accommodate their size and anatomy. And sometimes results in having them removed. 

Prophylaxis

In other words teeth cleaning, in some cases a prophy will not benefit the patient in which case a deep cleaning (scaling and root planning). 

Night Guard

With the stress of everyday hustle and shuffle, people tend to release such stress while asleep, in the form of teeth clenching/ grinding can cause muscle tension, jaw pain, headaches and numerous other ailments. Theses symptoms occur in over 50% of adults.  In this case an occlusion guard reffed as night guard, acts as a barrier between teeth. All eviating the bothersome issues.