AbrasionTooth wear caused by forces other than chewing, such as holding objects between the teeth or improper brushing.
AbutmentA tooth (or implant) that supports a dental prosthesis.
Alveolar boneThe part of the jaw that surrounds the roots of the teeth.
Alveolar processThe curving part of the jaw into which the teeth are rooted.
AlveolusThe socket in the alveolar bone into which the tooth’s root fits.
AmalgamAn alloy used in direct dental restorations.
Loss of pain sensations without loss of consciousness.
AnkylosisA condition where two hard tissues are fused together.
General AnesthesiaA controlled state of unconsciousness, accompanied by a partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including loss of ability to independently maintain airway and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command, produced by a pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic method or combination thereof;
Intravenous Sedation/AnalgesiaA medically controlled state of depressed consciousness while maintaining the patient’s airway, protective reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands. It includes intravenous administration of sedative and/or analgesic agent(s) and appropriate monitoring.
Local AnesthesiaThe loss of pain sensation over a specific area of the anatomy without loss of consciousness.
Non-Intravenous Conscious SedationA medically controlled state of depressed consciousness while maintaining the patient’s airway, protective reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands.
Regional AnesthesiaA term used for local anesthesia.
BicuspidA premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.
BilateralOccurring on, or pertaining to, both right and left sides.
BiopsyProcess of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.
Bitewing radiographsX-rays used to reveal the crowns of several upper and lower teeth as they bite down.
BleachingA cosmetic dental procedure that whitens the teeth using a bleaching solution.
BondingA composite resin applied to a tooth to change its shape and/or color. Bonding also refers to how a filling, orthodontic appliance or some fixed partial dentures are attached to teeth.
BruxismConstant grinding or clenching of teeth during the day or while asleep.
CalculusHard deposit of mineralized material adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth.
CanalA relatively narrow tubular passage or channel.
Root CanalSpace inside the root portion of a tooth containing pulp tissue.
CariogenicPromotes tooth decay.
CariesCommonly used term for tooth decay.
CavityDecay in tooth caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.
CementumHard connective tissue covering the tooth root.
Cleft PalateCongenital deformity resulting in lack of fusion of the soft and/or hard palate, either partial or complete.
ClenchingThe clamping and pressing of the jaws and teeth together in centric occlusion, frequently associated with psychological stress or physical effort.
CompositeA dental restorative material made up of disparate or separate parts (e.g. resin and quartz particles).
Conscious SedationA state in which patients are awake and can breathe and swallow on their own but are less aware of what is taking place.
CrownThat portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.
CuspThe pointed portion of the tooth.
CystPathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.
DebridementRemoving foreign matter or dead tissue.
DecayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.
Dental ProphylaxisScaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.
Dental ProsthesisAn artificial device that replaces one or more missing teeth.
DentinThat part of the tooth that is beneath enamel and cementum.
DentitionThe teeth in the dental arch.
• Permanent Dentition Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.
• Deciduous Dentition Refers to the deciduous or primary teeth in the dental arch.
DentureAn artificial substitute for natural teeth and adjacent tissues.
A restoration fabricated inside the mouth.
Dry SocketLocalized inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot.
EnamelHard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.
EndodontistA dental specialist who limits his or her practice to treating disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.
ErosionWearing down of tooth structure, caused by chemicals (acids).
EruptionWhen a tooth emerges or pushes through the gums.
ExcisionSurgical removal of bone or tissue.
ExtractionThe process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.
FillingA lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain.
Fixed AppliancesOrthodontic devices, commonly known as braces, that are bonded to the teeth to produce different tooth movements to help reposition teeth for orthodontic therapy.
Fixed Partial DentureA prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or attached to the abutment teeth or implant abutments adjacent to the space.
FractureThe breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.
General AnesthesiaA deep level of sedation in which patients lose consciousness, feel no pain, and have no memory of what is taking place around them.
GingivaSoft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.
Gingival HyperplasiaAn overgrowth of gingival tissues.
GingivitisInflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.
Immediate DentureProsthesis constructed for placement immediately after removal of remaining natural teeth.
Impacted ToothAn unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.
Implantation, ToothPlacement of an artificial or natural tooth into an alveolus.
InlayAn indirect intracoronal restoration; a dental restoration made outside of the oral cavity to correspond to the form of the prepared cavity, which is then luted into the tooth.
Intravenous SedationMedications used intravenously (through the bloodstream) to produce varying levels of sedation.
Maintenance, PeriodontalTherapy for preserving the state of health of the periodontium.
Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.
MalocclusionImproper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.
MaxillaThe upper jaw.
MolarTeeth posterior to the premolars (bicuspids) on either side of the jaw.
MouthguardDevice that fits over the teeth to prevent injury to the teeth, mouth or lips.
Any contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth.
OnlayAn indirect restoration made outside the oral cavity that overlays a cusp or cusps of the tooth, which is then luted to the tooth.
Oral And Maxillofacial SurgeonA dental specialist whose practice is limited to the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, defects and esthetic aspects of the oral and maxillofacial regions.
Oral MucosaThe pink-red tissues that line the mouth.
OrthodontistA dental specialist whose practice is limited to the interception and treatment of malocclusion of the teeth and their surrounding structures.
Orthognathic SurgerySurgery performed to correct facial imbalances caused by abnormalities of the jaw bones.
OverdentureA removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained tooth roots or implants.
PalateThe hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.
Action that relieves pain but is not curative.
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence; formerly known as a pedodontist.
Periapical X-RayAn x-ray that shows several entire teeth (crowns and roots) and includes a small amount of the periapical bone (surrounding the root tips).
Periodontal DiseaseInflammatory 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.
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
PlaqueA soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.
ProphylaxisScaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus and stains.
ProsthodontistA dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.
PulpConnective tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue which occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.
RadiographAn image produced by projecting radiation, as x-rays, on photographic film. Commonly called x-ray.
RanulaA cyst that can develop under the tongue on the floor of the mouth.
Removable Partial Denture
A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth that can be removed by the patient.
Retainer• Orthodontic Retainer: Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic treatment.
• Prosthodontic Retainer: A part of a fixed partial denture that attaches a pontic to the abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant.
The anatomic portion of the tooth that is covered by cementum and is located in the alveolus (socket) where it is attached by the periodontal apparatus; radicular portion of tooth.
Root CanalThe portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
Temporomandibular (TMJ)The connecting hinge mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).
Temporomandibular Joint DysfunctionAbnormal functioning of temporomandibular joint; also refers to symptoms arising in other areas secondary to the dysfunction.
In the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material, usually, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cementation, or mechanical retention; also refers to a restoration that is luted to the facial surface of a tooth.