Important Dental Terminology

Dental>Important Dental Terms

Abutment

An abutment is an implant or a tooth that supports the dental prosthesis.

Anesthesia

There are many different types of anesthesia. General anesthesia is a controlled period of unconsciousness in which the patient completely or partially loses protective reflexes. Intravenous sedation is a medically-induced depressed consciousness that maintains patient reflexes for protection. It also maintains the airways and the ability to respond to verbal commands/stimulation. This includes the intravenous administration of an analgesic agent and/or a sedative. The patient is subsequently monitored as necessary.

Arch

This term represents the lower or upper denture.

Bicuspid

This term refers to a premolar tooth. It is a tooth characterized by two cusps.

Bleaching

Also known as teeth whitening, this cosmetic dental procedure whitens the teeth with a bleaching solution to the shade selected by the patient.

Bonding

Bonding is a composite resin applied to the teeth to alter their color and/or shape. Bonding is also a reference to how fillings, fixed partial dentures or orthodontic appliances are connected to the teeth.

Calculus

When it comes to important dental terminology, calculus is high up on the list. It is an uber-hard deposit of a mineralized material that connects to the crowns and/or tooth roots.

Dental Caries

This term means tooth decay.

Cavity

A cavity is tooth decay spurred by caries. Cavities are also called carious lesions.

Crown

Crown procedures involve the fusing of a porcelain crown to a non-precious metal. Crown types include the artificial variety, abutment crowns, and anatomical crowns.

Dental Prosthesis

This is an artificial device that substitutes for one or several missing teeth.

Enamel

This is the hard and calcified tissue that covers the dentin of the tooth.

Extraction

Tooth extraction is a removal of the tooth or parts of the teeth. A simple extraction does not mandate a sectioning of the tooth or any other special procedure.

Filling

This term refers to the restoration of a lost tooth structure with materials like composite or amalgam. Composite is a white/tooth-colored filling that looks just like regular teeth.

Gingiva

This is the soft tissue overlying the crowns of teeth that have not yet erupted. It surrounds the necks of teeth that have emerged.

Gingivitis

In terms of important dental terminology, gingivitis is quite important. It refers to the inflammation of the gingival tissue that does not involve the loss or deterioration of connecting tissues.

Graft

A graft is tissue or alloplastic that connects with the tissue to supplement deficiencies and remedy a defect.

Impacted Tooth

This is a partially erupted or unerupted tooth positioned by another tooth, soft tissue or bone that means a complete eruption probably won't occur.

Malocclusion

This refers to the improper alignment of chewing or biting surfaces of the lower and upper teeth.

Molar

Molars are positioned behind the premolars, also known as the bicuspids.

Occlusal

This is a reference to the biting portion of the molar and premolar teeth or surfaces that contact one another.

Periodontal Abscess

This is an infection within the gum pocket that damages soft and hard tissues.

Periodontal Disease

The inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival calculus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and the loss of supporting alveolar bone.

Periodontitis

Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.

Plaque

This is the sticky and soft substance that gradually accumulates along the teeth. It is mainly comprised of bacteria.

Scaling

The removal of calculus, plaque, and stains from your teeth.

Tooth Abrasion

Abrasion is wear caused by forces beyond simple chewing. Tooth abrasion can be caused by holding objects between teeth or a flawed brushing technique. Those who press too hard when brushing often show signs of tooth abrasion during dental check-ups.

Call Diamond Head Dental Care at (808) 450-2101 for more information or to schedule an appointment in our Honolulu dentist office.

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