Dental Library


Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth
Anesthesia – Medications used to relieve pain
Anterior teeth – Front teeth, also called incisors and cuspids
Arch – The upper or lower jaw
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Baby bottle tooth decay – Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby’s mouth
Bicuspids – A premolar tooth; tooth with two cusps, which are pointed or rounded eminences on or near the masticating surface of a tooth
Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities
Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
Bridge – A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment teeth or implant replacements
Bruxism – Teeth grinding
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Calculus – A hard deposit of mineralized substance adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth or prosthetic devices
Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth’s root
Canines – Also called cuspids
Canker sore – One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth; a canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border
Caries – A commonly used term for tooth decay, or cavities
Cold sore – Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips; a cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid
Composite filling – Tooth-colored restorations, also known as resin fillings
Composite resin – A tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material
Contouring – The process of reshaping teeth
Crown – An artificial tooth replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure; it is also placed on a dental implant
Cusps – The pointed parts on top of the back teeth’s chewing surface
Cuspids – Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge
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Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel
Denture – A removable set of teeth
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Endodontics – A form of dentistry that addresses problems that affect the tooth’s root or nerve
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Fluoride – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride resulting in tooth discoloration.
Fluorosis – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration
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Gingiva – Another word for gum tissue
Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque
Gum disease – An infection of the gum tissues, also called periodontal disease
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Impacted tooth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts
Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth
Incisor – Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front
Inlay – An artificial filling made of various materials, such as porcelain, resin, or gold
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Laminate veneer – A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth; it is usually thin and made from porcelain resin
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Malocclusion – Bad bite relationship
Mandible – The lower jaw
Maxilla – The upper jaw
Molars – Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth; they have large chewing surfaces
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Neuromuscular Dentistry – Addresses more than the aches and pains felt in and around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw

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Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth
Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment
Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants
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Palate – Roof of the mouth
Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces missing teeth
Pediatric Dentistry – A field of dentistry that deals with children’s teeth
Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums
Periodontal disease – Infection of the gum tissues, also called gum disease
Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums
Permanent teeth – The teeth that erupt after primary teeth, also called adult teeth
Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing
Posterior teeth – The bicuspids and molars, also called the back teeth
Primary teeth – A person's first set of teeth, also called baby teeth or temporary teeth
Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth
Prosthodontics – The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances
Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves, and connective tissue
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Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, and allow bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth’s enamel and surrounding bone
Resin filling – An artificial filling used to restore teeth, also called a composite filling
Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth’s nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled
Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line
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Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth’s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces
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TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder which entails health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear
Tarter – A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth’s surface
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Veneer – A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth
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Whitening – A process that employs special bleaching agents to restore the color of teeth
Wisdom tooth – Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence

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